BIU President On Buses, Issues & Work To Rule

June 18, 2018

[Updated + Written by Don Burgess]

Bus drivers did not volunteer to work on the National Heroes Day holiday, which is why the buses are not running today [June 18], the BIU President has explained.

Chris Furbert, Bermuda Industrial Union president, told Bernews that the bus operators started work to rule last Friday and, as a part of that, on holidays, holiday schedules mean DPT has to ask for volunteers to work.

Buses lined at the depot this morning

“From the operators’ point of view, public holiday work is normally posted a for a daily order for people to work, and apparently it is a day where people don’t want to work, so they decided not to want to work today,” he said.

“The division took the decision to work to rule, and the work to rule is that they’re not working any overtime and today would have been overtime with them.”

Mr Furbert said the bus operators have 10 to 12 issues that need resolving. Last Thursday they were able to negotiate on a few of those issues to a satisfactory manner, but there still are six to eight issues that need to be sorted out.

“One of these issues go back several years now, and the workers have had enough,” Mr Furbert said. He added the workers want to know when the issues will be addressed.

The BIU President said he did speak with Transport & Regulatory Affairs Minister Walter Roban on Sunday.

“He’s given a commitment that he wants to sit down and work on a time frame to get these issues resolved. All the workers want to see that happen.”

Government did issue a statement yesterday there was a “risk” that buses would not run today, and we have asked them for comment and will update as able.

Update 4.03pm: The Ministry said, “The Department of Public Transportation [DPT] would like to advise the public that bus service will resume tomorrow, Tuesday June 19.

“DPT management and the Bermuda Industrial Union will return to discussions. also on Tuesday, in an effort to resolve the matters outstanding.

“A work-to-rule remains in place until further notice, which may result in route cancellations if drivers are unwilling to work overtime.

“DPT apologizes for the inconvenience to the traveling public.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. jt says:

    Where’s the tough talk from Burch on this? Poser.

    • True dat says:

      I voted PLP because I thought it was the best way to keep the unions in their place.

  2. WSP says:

    PLP are starting look a lot like the last administration of 14 yrs of nothing.

    • Question says:

      They’re already f…in up the economy and doing nothing about debt. Usual PLP crap incompetence.

  3. Gustav says:

    it is a day where people don’t want to work,

    When is that day they warnt to work ???????
    Salärs is the minimum they should face

  4. Hey says:

    Whoever didn’t show up to drive the bus should be fired immediately. These bus drivers have too much power and think they are doing everyone else a favor… But if everyone had their own transportation and didn’t need to use the bus these bus drivers would be the ones crying because they would be out of work. If they can’t handle working on the holidays,then they need not to be driving the bus. They all need to be fired. There are people that rely in the buses, especially the seniors who are being left stranded today all because these bus drivers want to be lazy and not do their job. Its disgusting.

  5. Gustav says:

    Sorry man
    Salary cut

  6. Stevie says:

    So now work no pay. Guess there will a strike over not getting paid coming up.
    Really it is a strike today. The union provision is 21 day notice given of intention for any industrial action. Oh forgot PLP back in office so BIU can do what they want. Where’s tweed & the peoples campaign now? Gone awfully quiet.

    • Happy says:

      Sadly it isn’t. ILO standards are 21 days, BIU agreed to 72hrs (3 days) when the Brown administration forgave the ProActive bond.

      I do agree they shouldn’t be paid though this is ridiculous.

      • Stevie says:

        Yeah right 3 days when plp in. A Brown cockup. 21 days standard.

  7. One Who Escaped says:

    What are the “issues”? We, the public, should know what our PUBLIC workers’ issues are.

  8. puzzled says:

    Only in the isles of sun and fun.

    In their thinking and interpretation no-one works on a public holiday.

    There you have it folks.

  9. Heym? says:

    Furbutt can’t just say there is an issue, he needs to tell the public what the issue is. Transparency and public accountability please. About time People’s campaign organized a march up the hill. People are suffering from the cancellations and strike nonsense. Clear to me that the People’s campaign just played Bermudians for fools to stir up emotions in order to garner votes for the PLP. Now PLP are in power, it is to hell with people.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Like the PATI legislation passed in 2010 but not brought into force until 2014, “transparency and public accountability” are words to be revered, not actions to be taken.

  10. Toodle-oo says:

    What do they mean by ‘bus drivers did not volunteer to work on the holiday’?

    When I worked at a place that was 365/24/7 if you were scheduled on on a day that was a holiday you (and everyone else ) worked . There was no volunteering , it was a regular work day .

    Something is out of order here in a big away.

  11. facts of the rock says:

    and many tourists saying not coming back to Bermuda!

    • Fultongirl says:

      I would rather go to The Bahamas. Bermuda is no longer Bermudaful. What a mess!!

  12. simple says:

    its a simple thing to fix but neither government have the balls

    • Infidelguy says:

      Exactly! We the tax paying public are getting shafted up the YOU KNOW WHAT!

      And Now, from what I heard in the HoA on Friday, the government wants to have a commission of inquiry on the previous OBA government’s decision to file a lawsuit against Lahey Hospital.

      We are truely getting Effed on both ends by both political parties!!!

  13. v smtih says:

    The way I see it and I travel on the bus,this should have been taken care off long before now, in fact with the government before the PLP was elected,some of you that don’t travel on the bus should try it sometime,A/C not working,Bell not working,buses getting overheated,
    breaking down on the road,smoke coming out from god knows were, the drivers have had enough bottom line.

    • James says:

      I travel on the bus as well… I agree with you. If you don’t ride on the bus, you have no idea. I would challenge all the politicians from both parties to ride around on a bus… things would change real fast.
      I honestly would have been enjoying the day off as well if I worked there. Is it the right way to go about it? No. However, when these issues have been the same issues for over 5 years, it’s time for some kind of action.
      These issues that have been on the table are the same issues that just get swept under the rug. Year in and year out. every summer, not a day goes by that I don’t feel like I’m about to pass out from the heat on those buses. Not a week goes by that on doesn’t break down.
      I’m fed up by the maintenance issues myself. Add on top of that the disrespectful children and adults who spit on, slap, threatened and verbally abuse the driver (some drivers are mean and nasty for no reason. I see the majority as kind and willing to go the extra mile); I myself am at my boiling point.
      No one, no matter what job they have, deserve to be belittled or told just do the job you have because people need a job and you will lose yours because you don’t want to work in these horrid conditions that I’m not fixing.
      I’m not on a side, I just believe respect goes both ways. From what I’ve seen from management around there and the conditions of not just the buses but the other things that we the public have no knowledge about; some times desperate times call for desperate measures.

      • Justin says:

        It all boils down to Bermuda having no money, we are broke. Now go away and ask yourself why.

  14. Trump supporter says:

    Where’s the minister and burtcoin? Traveling!!

    • Question says:

      But not travelling on a bus, evidently.

  15. Rocky5 says:

    I suggest the PTB, “not volunteer to pay them”!!

  16. Rocky5 says:

    This is just beyond the pale – drivers didn’t volunteer to work so we have NO buses!! Just imagine how it would be at our 2 hospitals, hotels & guest houses, restaurants, rest & nursing homes, Police, Fire Dept., ambulances, Life Guards, shops, tour operators, Prison Officers, Ferry operators if NO ONE VOLUNTEERED to work on a Public Holiday???!!!

  17. Hang up and try your call again says:

    So when the buses would be filled to capacity, which in turn adds money to help pay their wages, the drivers elect to “work to rule”. I gather that when there’s no money in the coffers to pay them they’ll also be willing to “voluntarily retire” too.

  18. Ringmaster says:

    The buses need to be made an essential service. No more volunteer days, that is so 1960′s. Putting aside the needs of Bermudians and residents which apparently the BIU does and doesn’t care, Bermuda depends on tourists continuing to arrive and enjoy their experience. This does just the opposite. Clearly the BIU knows the Government is weak and can do what it wants.

    • PBanks says:

      Didnt the previous administration float the idea (essential service) at one point? Guess it never got followed up upon.

  19. Shag says:

    So now the bus drivers have to volunteer to work on a public holiday. Nobody is actually scheduled to work the holiday. Absolutely bloody unbelievable

  20. Infidelguy says:

    “…holiday schedules mean DPT has to ask for volunteers to work.”?

    So our tax funded bus transportation system relies on bus drivers to volunteer to work on holidays? Now I see why the bus drivers don’t want to adopt the new bus schedule. And I suppose they x2 time when they do work on a holiday?

    That is one SWEET FREAKING DEAL!!!

    • PBanks says:

      Yeah, looks like the current CBA offers a ton of perks to the drivers. When is it up for renewal?

  21. cpm says:

    Thank you bus drivers for the furlough day
    The taxpayers are very happy that you chose a day off without pay
    plp all the way

  22. John says:

    Hope one of these bus drivers never has a heart attack on Christmas Day. Can you imagine coming to the hospital only to find out “it’s a holiday and everyone’s off.”

  23. frank says:

    this is strange under the OBA buses ran on heroes day plp in no buses on heroes day
    when a driver reports for work and there is no bus for them to drive they still get paid.
    what we have now is a bunch of workers that will look for any dam excuse not to work.the minister took out an injunction on Friday
    witch put a halt to the industrial action the union under fuberts
    leadership ignored that the minister now should be arresting the union leader and all the workers today lets see if he has the balls to do so
    it is so strange people who have a job trying everything not to show up for work
    I would fire them all today in 3 weeks we will have drivers that won’t to work and show up for work simple.

  24. Observer says:

    Stop issuing Monthly Passes. It is Not working! You provide no bus , but you got my money in advance.
    I have to get my own ride because your bus didn’t come, or came an hour or two late. I see the PTB repair truck pass,
    Yeah, it’s another Break-Down on top of cancellations! Quit the thievery Government, and provide the service I already
    Paid for!!! Five times in the last two weeks. I am not a happy citizen right now! I want my money back!