Accountability for some but not all
Your readers may be interested to know that the 2001 Government of Bermuda Code of Conduct and Conditions of Employment document proudly proclaims this mission statement:
The following core values underpin the way in which the Government of Bermuda expects the Civil Service to conduct its business:
a, To provide the Government and people of Bermuda with impeccable service
b, To provide sound, impartial and timely advice, options and recommendations
c, To promote and reward good performance
d, To be accountable and ensure value for money
e, To be a fair and equal-opportunity employer, and to be the employer of choice
f, To encourage continuous training, development and advancement for officers
Provide impeccable service ... promote good performance ... be the employer of choice ...
Why then would one of the Government’s collective bargaining agreements — the employment agreement between the Government as the employer and unionised Civil Service employees — be artfully “negotiated” to not require performance appraisals for its employees? Yes, you read that right.
The 2013 Spending and Government Efficiency Commission’s report noted that there were 1,640 Civil Service employees represented by the Bermuda Public Services Union. They also revealed that the 1,200 employees represented by the Bermuda Industrial Union were not subject to performance appraisals, as agreed in their CBA. (I should remind readers that the positions of Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service also were not subject to performance appraisals at that time, and that there is no indication that this has changed for either of these two positions, or that CBA representing the BIU employees.)
Two things come to mind:
• How is it that our government representative would agree to such a set of employment conditions for this one segment of the Civil Service, tantamount to encouraging mediocrity at best and almost certainly guaranteeing continuing inefficiency in our Civil Service?
• When you consider that unions have been the champions of safe, fair and equitable practices in the workplace, and in this instance they have moved themselves into an entirely different and unaccountable category, it almost suggests that their workers either cannot, or do not, wish to “measure up”.
No wonder the Government is the employer of choice. Bermuda truly is another world.