BTUC Attend Meeting With Minister, Secretary

February 10, 2014

The Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] said that on January 29th, they were invited to a meeting with the Minister of Finance Bob Richards, Financial Secretary Anthony Manders, and the Acting Deputy Head of Civil Service Cherie Whitter.

The BTUC is made up of the island’s various trade unions, including the Bermuda Industrial Union, Bermuda Police Association, Bermuda Public Services Union, Bermuda Union of Teachers, the Fire Services Association, and the Prison Officers Association.

A statement said, “The BTUC considered that meeting to be an introduction to their planned way forward as it relates to changes within the public service sector. The BTUC would like to make it clear that the meeting should not be interpreted as consultation.

“The BTUC was introduced to the subjects of Public Service Reform, Downsizing, and Pension Reform. In regards to Public Service Reform, the BTUC support efforts by the Government to make public services more efficient, more productive, and to improve governance.

“However, we hope that the aim of this exercise is not to reduce jobs, wages, and benefits in a systematic way. We believe that this process should be driven by the Civil Service Executive with minimal Ministerial interference.”

The BTUC responded to the Minister, seeking further clarity on the following:

  1. What will be the composition of the committee spearheading this process?
  2. What former reviews conducted will the committee be using to support its implementation plan?

The statement continued, “As it relates to pensions, the BTUC understands the challenges that the underfunded liability will have as it relates to those who will receive the benefit of the Government.

“As a result, the BTUC is open to working with the Government to find solutions to address the issues we collectively face. The BTUC is also pleased to hear that the Government will not be considering moving from a Defined Benefit Plan to a Defined Contribution Plan, as we are strongly opposed to the notion of that suggestion.

“Finally as it relates to downsizing, we recognize that several methods were put on the table such as mutualization, outsourcing of services, and transformation in Quangos for 13 purposed Government Departments.

“The BTUC does not support such privatization initiatives and responded to the Minister seeking information as it relates to each department on the following:

  1. What are the increased service costs to the public?
  2. What is the total number of workers that will be adversely affected?
  3. What proven model of privatization will be used?
  4. What will be the nature of the committee formulated to review the feasibility of privatization?

“The BTUC would like to thank the Minister for meeting with us and we look forward to more meaningful dialogue in the future, in addition to responses to the question we have provided.

“The BTUC would like to inform our members that as we receive information in relations to public service changes, we will do our due diligence in keeping you informed.”

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (17)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Starting point says:

    Bermuda – the Island that watched the world move on by. The level of procrastination on this island is beyond anything I have ever encountered….italians are more active during siesta than we are during our best time.

    • Tough Love says:

      So you would just have people lose their jobs and have the public pay more for services that we need, than consultation? Got me wondering where you work.

      People with the mentality that it won’t affect them should beware. “…. and then they came for me.”

  2. Unbelievebale says:

    This sounds collaborative and measured.

  3. Pointing out the obvious says:

    I have to agree with you Starting Point. Everyone want’s to get better but no one wants to swallow the pill.

  4. Chaos Theory says:

    Translation: We listed to you, but we don’t agree with anything you said.

  5. more than enough says:

    funnnily enough this meeting was held before the fahy meeting the other day. why are we only hearing this?

    • Lauren Bell says:

      We have heard about this meeting – it was offered up at the CoC SAGE Breakfast as proof that the OBA was seeking public collaboration regarding both SAGE & Premier Cannonier’s recently announced Govt reform.

      SAGE Commissioner Brian Duperreault was in attendance & he said that the Commission recommended that CS job cuts should be the last option. He highlighted that first efforts should be focused on cutting waste & increasing efficiency. This should then be followed by cuts in CS wages/hours (& this shouldn’t be across the board but started at the top). Then, and only then, should job cuts be explored.

      MP Richards followed this by stating that the OBA plans to be more aggressive w/the glide plan and w/cuts than were outlined by SAGE.

      Drastic austerity measures do NOT work as proven by other jurisdictions that have attempt the same.

      Keeping the Unions involved with the process to reform our CS is VITAL.

      • And so? says:

        if you are referring to the UK regarding austerity not working don’t, because they are projected to have meaningful growth because of the cost cutting measures they put in place and doing better than most other countries. So where else were you referring to?

        • Bettty Trump says:

          How many times have the UK fallen back into a recession? How many families are hurting and depending upon government to assist them? No sure it has worked there fully, if you review the costing of social services and how many people now are on social assistance.

          The BPSU need to wake up and pay attention to this suggested move by Mr. Richards. What does his aggressive plan really suggest. It is not what he says, it is what he is not saying that is more key.

          • Suzie Quattro says:

            “How many times has the UK fallen back into a recession”?

            Er, none. The UK is currently the fasted growing major economy in Europe. It just upped its growth forecast for the coming year. The unemployment rate has been reducing since January 2012, and is currently 7.1%.

            But you carry on with the misinformation and lies Betty, where you are more familiar.

  6. more than enough says:

    ok you could be right, i got distracted by the whole ‘islanders’ thing.
    i agree with the sage commission recommendations, the cuts should come from the top, especially, but not limited to, parliamentary compensation packages.most of these guys don’t need the extra $160,000 and should willingly volunteer at least a 50% reduction of pay. the rest of the cs from the top down should be able to survive wage reductions, and small cuts for the lowest paid.
    couldn’t tell you why would we needed to have a whole body of professionals, to tell us what the ordinary layman could tell you though.
    and we are yet to see any evidence of bobs aggression in this matter.
    i also agree the union must be involved.

  7. Looking in says:

    Cuts coming for The Civil Service? We in the private sector can no longer keep paying,the money is not there!

    • rubber bong says:

      Do you forget that civil servants pays taxes just like ‘you’ in the private sector? The same way you feel that ‘you’ pay for the civil servants, ‘we’ pay for government services that ‘you’ use too. ‘Your’ tax dollar is of no greater value than ‘mine’.

  8. bluebird says:

    @Rubber Bong.
    YOU PRODUCE NOTHING,you consume TAX dollars,they are RE-CYCLED.
    Your idea is so wonderfull why don’t we all work for Government and then we would all have a JOB and we would all be happy because we would not be “UNEMPLOYED”

  9. bluebird says:

    we have a population of about 60,000 persons
    We have a working population of 25,000
    We have a Government payroll for 8,000.
    We have a Government payroll of $750,000,000.00 (750Million)
    We are borrowing $300Million each year from somebody.

  10. bluebird says:

    Government should “TELL” each department to cut 10% each year.
    The heads of departments and the departments should “CUT” the 10% not the government.
    Each Department will find a way to cut 10% each year.
    Each Department knows where the waste is,
    Each department knows how to cut the waste.
    Each department is getting paid and HAVE TO TAKE RESPOSIBILITY.
    otherwise the government then comes in and makes the cuts of 10%.
    that wont happen as they know what to do to save there own necks.
    that’s not my job wont fly this time as we have no money.

  11. bluebird says:

    The TUC could not teach the PLP but now they are trying to teach the OBA.
    “How to suck blood out of a stone”