New negotiating team appointed
Jonathan Smith, Vincent Hollinsid, and Orin Simmons have been appointed as the Bermuda Government’s new Public Service Negotiating Team.
The group, who replace Gary Phillips, Martin Law and John Harvey, will continue ongoing negotiations with the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association.
Mr Smith, is a former Progressive Labour Party senator and Commissioner of Police; Mr Hollinsid is a former Chief Fire Officer; Mr Simmons is a former negotiator with the Bermuda Public Services Union.
Since the PLP returned to power, Government has completed negotiations with the BPSU, the Fire Services Association, the Bermuda Industrial Union, and made interim agreements with the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the School Principals who are represented by the BPSU.
Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo acknowledged the dedication and commitment of the outgoing team.
She said: “We are thankful for their hard work in guiding the negotiations to a conclusion. Their work verified for this Government that the application of a negotiations’ model that relies on non-union members to represent the Government’s interest is a reasonable approach.
“We are grateful to have the services of Mr Smith, Mr Hollinsid and Mr Simmons. They each have a wealth of knowledge and negotiations experience.
“We very much look forward to seeing the positive results of their engagement with our unions. This Government remains committed to engendering a respect for the workers in the public service.
“In that regard, we will continue to work with our unions to cultivate improved organisational performance, which will ultimately benefit the Government, the employees, and by extension the people of Bermuda.”
Responding, shadow government reform minister Michael Dunkley noted that negotiations were ongoing with the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association.
He said: “I would have expected in announcing the new negotiating team the minister would have provided a detailed update on the current state of affairs.”
Mr Dunkley asked for details on the mandate, terms of reference, payment and length of appointment for the new team.
He said: “What are the terms of any settlements reached? Has any harmonisation been reached among various union agreements?
“Providing these answers allows accountability and transparency which this government always talks about.”
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