Members of the Bahamas Public Service Union staged a protest outside of the House of Assembly on Wednesday. The union and the government are currently in negotiations for a new industrial agreement.
President of the BSPU, Kingley Ferguson told reporters, “while we may not agree on a particular position, we can come to an agreed position. We can disagree to agree. And so, we’ve not been given that opportunity to negotiate on behalf of the persons we do represent. And so, it is something called union busting and it is clear what is happening and the attack is not on the membership its on the leadership of the Bahamas Public Services Union.”
Mr. Ferguson had the opportunity to speak to Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Chester Cooper on the back steps of the House where he voiced his concerns. “My concern this morning is one, when can we sign the industrial agreement for the Airport Authority and when can we receive documentation of proposals based on the adjustments that I’m advised that the government made for consideration.”
Cooper replied saying, “so my information is from the Minister responsible and the Minister of State who is also in charge of public service is that all issues have been agreed and subject to cleaning up the documents, they are ready for them to be executed. So with that information that I have today, I am surprised to see you here.”
The Acting Prime Minister continued, “the minister, Minister Mitchell has indicated to me that the documentation is being cleaned up, all elements are agreed, he’s back in the country on the 14th and I assume that once he returns to the country that you can schedule a signing with him. So with that said, I don’t see an issue. When the documents are cleaned up, they will undertake to get them to you. Minister Rolle, Pia Rolle is out of the country, she’s returning, I believe, on Monday or Tuesday and when she returns she will make preparation in Minister Mitchell’s absence to ensure that what needs to happen happens.”