Premier: ‘Sacrifice Will Be Discussed With All’

May 5, 2020

PREMIER_BURT david bermuda 2019“As we are in this together, sacrifice will be discussed with all, worked upon by all, and made by all, not just those at the lowest end of the economic scale, and just not by public officers,” Premier David Burt said.

Speaking at last night’s [May 4] press briefing, Premier Burt said, “Earlier today, discussions were held with our union partners on the economic situation facing our country and how together we can act as our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and do our part to save jobs, help those in need and save taxpayer dollars.

“Within government, we have already identified $65 million dollars in taxpayer savings and we are working collaboratively with our union partners and we expect to find even more.

“These talks were fruitful and I am convinced that we understand the need to find solutions that will benefit all.

“Yet as we look to our public officers for sacrifice and solutions, all too often social commentators look solely to them to bear the burden of sacrifice, while those who can afford to sacrifice are rarely asked to do so.

“Our public officers have often been scapegoated, abused, and disrespected and portrayed as the source and solution to most of our problems. The Government certainly does not accept that. In fact, we reject that mindset entirely.

“We know the sacrifices they make, and the tireless work that many of them have performed, especially in the last few months, as this country has battled this pandemic.

“As we are in this together, sacrifice will be discussed with all, worked upon by all, and made by all. Not just those at the lowest end of the economic scale, and just not by public officers.

“It makes no sense to ask persons to take cuts to their wages when people do not get cuts to interest rates or cuts to their power bills. So to be clear, fairness is needed across the board, and this government will ensure that all are to be a part of the equation.“

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Comments (26)

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  1. Politricks says:

    “We know the sacrifices they make, and the tireless work that many of them have performed, especially in the last few months, as this country has battled this pandemic.

    So 100% of public sector workers have continued to work during the lockdown then?

    The only sacrifices I see are the 7,500 or private sector workers (you know the ones who fund the public sector) who have been forced to stop working and rely on handouts that aren’t even close to their normal pay.

    As of now only one sector has borne the ‘sacrifice’ and no amount of politricks will change that indisputable fact

    • Vortex says:

      Agreed, this is no time for self-serving PLP governance.

      Yes people are criticising the Civil Service – why? – because we can’t afford their numbers, we don’t need their numbers and the unions are the real leaders here not the Premier.

      Yes I have a problem with that.

      • Eyes wide open says:

        Last I checked the UBP/oba foxes Bermuda on a 170 million plus hotel we have to pay for. Also lets not forget the Airport we will have to chip in another 10 mill plus for.

        • saud says:

          Don’t forget the hospital, and the huge loss of revenue due to that horrible deal, by the PLP.
          Don’t forget all the money lost due to the PLPs inaction after the AC.
          But, you’re a plp supporter, so you won’t bother with facts, you’ll just regurgitate the talking points

        • bluenose says:

          The irony of your name makes me smile. Thanks.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “As we are in this together, sacrifice will be discussed with all, worked upon by all, and made by all, not just those at the lowest end of the economic scale, and just not by public officers,” Premier David Burt said.”

    Absolutely! And as you are our elected leader you can lead by example and take a pay cut proportionate to the reduction in Government income!

  3. Sick and tired says:

    So, if we are all in this together, when are you all going to take a pay cut. Thousands of people here have taken a drastic pay cut (no salaries at all).

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Why has the Government been running deficit budgets each year, yet suddenly $65 million in savings can be found? This shows the inefficiencies and waste within Government and is probably only half of what can be saved. Then convert the final salary pension to contributory, to match the private sector, and suspend the $60 million or so paid into the Government plan this year. There’s $125 million in savings right there. Cut out consultants and useless Ministers such as the Min of Communication, a small salary cut overall and more retirement and tens of millions more dollars will be found. More millions can be saved by by privatizing parts of Government. Change the status quo is the mantra. Not hard is it?

    • question says:

      Yes, but these are $65m in ‘savings’ according to the government narrative,

      It’s a bit like saying “I was going to buy myself 4 pairs of luxury shoes and a new Iphone, but I didn’t, so I now have $2,500 in savings, which I can spend on something else”. That’s how the PLP thinks about things.

  5. Islandwatcher says:

    I’m not certain the last time I saw a public officer working “tirelessly”, but the sentiment is on point (I guess).

  6. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    As it stands now on the 5th of May 2020 I only see the private sector takin’ licks! 50% take home pay at Gibbons Company etc. in the last week. Correct me if I’m wrong? What cuts have happened in the public sector? I’m all ears.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Hey , don’t you remember that massive sacrifice they made back in the bad old days of 12 furlough days in a year ? LOL
      The average hotel worker or airline agent in the slow season has to take more than that in a month , and their slow season lasts for months!
      Some sacrifice , I’d say . Not ! !

    • Are you kidding me? says:

      50% pay cut that’s an insult to all the workers ,that should never be aloud Gibbons can’t do better then that ? Well guess what you miserable people shot it down time for you to go Gibbons,,all these years making crazy profits and now your talking about 50% pay cut, when was the ,last time you had to pay rent?,when did you last go grocery shopping? When did you last looked at you Belco bill ,BERMUDIAN public should all come together and send you a message ,not that it’s going to make you a difference but Stop shopping at all your stores …..your paying chicken for starters anyway and your talking about 50% less pay you should be ashamed of your selfs …

      • question says:

        50% isn’t good, but it beats losing your job completely.

        Of course, someone in the public sector, where you think money falls out of the frikin sky, wouldn’t understand this at all.

        You will.

        • saud says:

          “never be aloud ”

          You’re not dealing with an educated person here….don’t waste your time trying to explain basics to them.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Personally, I would rather have 50% pay and a job than being laid off and have no income.

      • bluenose says:

        So stop shopping there and force it to close. That’ll help their employees. smdh.

  7. aceboy says:

    Lots of talk, no action, on this. Delay until we open back up and then calls for a shared sacrifice will go away.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ya’ll need to take an axe to the civil service. I’m sad that its taken a global pandemic for the government to finally do something about the biggest drain on our GDP.

    I hope that they will take a 10% pay cut, furlough days, and you force a few of them into retirement.

  9. wahoo says:

    Long before COVID 19 our civil service was too big and people told you that but to keep campaign promises you just kept creating more positions. You created the monster that is now our ball and chain take a couple links out of that chain.

  10. Ya we heard that last time “Shared Sacrifice”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. sandgrownan says:

    Hold on Mr. Premier.

    ““Our public officers have often been scapegoated, abused, and disrespected and portrayed as the source and solution to most of our problems. The Government certainly does not accept that. In fact, we reject that mindset entirely.”

    The issue is this, the private sector takes “all the hits”, never goes on strike, doesn’t have seemingly unlimited sick day capability and is always held accountable. That’s the first problem – the CS is apparently immune to outside forces. The CS certainly does not ever sacrifice.

    The second issue is this, we are a small island of 60,000. Our CS is over sized for the population it serves – and while I am sure there are plenty of conscientious civil servants, the value we get for OUR money is questionable. Can’t write a bus schedule, can’t collect the trash, don’t deliver the post in the rain, drive buses too fast, crash ferries while “tired and emotional”, don’t even collect taxes consistently (laughable given how broke we are), fail our students consistently and actively work to impede the very business we need to survive through incompetence at the Dept of Immigration. And all of that service is delivered with a tooth-sucking belligerence encouraged by the rhetoric of our isolationist and xenophobic government.

    So, Mr Premier, get rid of the faux outrage and pathetic indignation and if you want to have a conversation, at the very least start from a position of honesty.

  12. Let's be fair says:

    Whilst I really appreciate what the Premier is doing for Bermuda during these difficult times, I cannot agree with his reasons for not applying some form of pay reduction for public servants. The private sector has already made major cuts to their work force which includes layoffs, hour reductions, working day reductions and pay reductions. To use the bank interest rate as a reason to not stop or reduce any public servant salaries is indeed lame to the highest order. The government should set the first example and others will follow.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Votes I presume, although he has so much political capital I don’t know why just doesn’t do the necessary

  13. sage says:

    Those at the lowest end of the economic scale already have nothing and have still sacrificed while public officers get paid and are yet to make a sacrifice.

  14. Where's the Unity and Shared Sacrifice? says:

    The Premier’s intentions on unity and shared sacrifice are admirable but action is required not just words that form mollifying soundbites.

    Let’s be honest–the CS are not the bad guys here, they are people, friends, neighbors our community. The issue is that Bermuda cannot afford to continue on this spending trajectory given her precarious financial state of affairs. Its better that provisions are enacted to keep the maximum number of people in financially gaining positions but at a lower rate (pay cuts)to preserve what little financial resources we have–those emergency measures can be reversed when the economy strengthens. We simply can’t afford business as usual.

    The private sector has sacrificed, have paid more into taxes, have made emergency donations–all of which the Premier has acknowledged–WHY THEN–has he taken this turn and started with the decisive rhetoric after he and his ministers have stated publicly that its IB that will help Bermuda get through this.

    WHY WHY WHY shift the rhetoric to poke at the one pillar that we are all depending on at the moment.

    Please Mr. Premier your leadership must be driven on what is required for the good of the country and ALL of her citizens–UNITY. You got this, you may get backlash–but that goes with the leadership territory.

    Blessings!