The Bahamas Public Service Union [BPSU] is in negotiations with the government to iron out a new industrial agreement. President of the BPSU, Kingsley Ferguson gave a update on the status of the negotiations.
Mr. Ferguson is taking issue with a letter that has been circulated showing proposed increases and allowances for members of the union. “The concern today that we do have is if it was proposed, when was it discussed and agreed to on behalf of public servants. And so, we are indeed very concerned that the government has decided to unilaterally implement particular things into the agreement. We are not saying that the government cannot pay monies but being the sole bargaining agent for public servants and being the president of the Bahamas Public Services Union, we are confirming to date that we have not met with the government to sign off on any particular item in the industrial agreement.”
Ferguson continued, “the unions counter proposals to the government we had asked that the finance and accounting officers receive a responsibility allowance of $3,600. A counter proposal was sent back to the union dismissing and not even giving consideration thereto but in the face of it, it was agreed that cabinet secretary, financial secretary, permanent secretaries, directors and so on will receive a $6,000 increase, inclusive also of the singular increment plus the normal increment which amounts to some $8,000 as an annual increase, divided by 12, gives them a $666.67 monthly increase.”
President of the Bahamas National Alliance Trade Union Congress, Belinda Wilson, says while will not stand in the way of employers paying funds to its employees, the congress has zero tolerance when the labour laws are not followed.