Law stops police from accepting pay and pensions deal
Government will have to wait a little longer to negotiate its pay cut and pensions freeze proposal with the Bermuda Police Association.
A press statement from the BPA yesterday said that it could not legally agree to the proposal which would see its members take a 9.5 percent pay cut to be matched by a freeze in pension contribution for a period of one year.
The statement said that the BPA had been considering the option which was designed to save the government money without adversely impacting workers take home pay.
However, during our deliberations, questions arose regarding the legal ability of us, the Association, to agree to the request. We considered it prudent to seek legal advice on the matter, the statement said.
We have since been advised by our lawyer that due to the way the Association was established by the Police Act, 1974 and the Bermuda Police Association Regulations, 1968, the Association is restricted by law in how it can represent its members.
We are advised that the Association does not have the scope or power of a normal trade union. Our limited powers and objects do not allow us to agree to any variation of the conditions of service established by the Permanent Police Tribunal.
We have been further advised that should we, the Association, agree to the Governments request, we may render ourselves liable to redress by individual members through the judicial process.
Based on the legal advice we have received, we are of the opinion that the Bermuda Police Association is prohibited from agreeing to the Governments request or any other offer as long as we are bound by contract.
Our current contract expires at the end of September 2012, so there may be an opportunity to consider options during the new contract negotiations.
An electronic vote was scheduled for yesterday but did not take place as a result of the latest developments.
Government was informed of the situation last night.
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