Hayward calls for less political ‘bickering’

  • Thankful MP: former union leader Jason Hayward (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Thankful MP: former union leader Jason Hayward (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda’s newest MP told colleagues that he was tired of “political bickering” in his maiden address to Parliament yesterday.

Jason Hayward said: “As a matter of fact, I am not fond of our current political construct that is adversarial in nature.”

The Progressive Labour Party MP’s comments came during the motion to adjourn.

Mr Hayward, the former president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, defeated One Bermuda Alliance senator Dwayne Robinson by 311 votes to 173 at the Pembroke Central by-election last week.

He assumed the seat vacated after the sudden death last month of PLP stalwart Walton Brown.

Mr Hayward thanked the voters of Constituency 17 for their “vote of confidence” and the PLP for the chance to be part of an “awesome political machine that possesses such a rich legacy”.

He described himself as a trade unionist and an advocate for social justice who had dedicated the past ten years to “representing the rights of workers and working-class families”.

Mr Hayward told MPs that “major employment issues” existed in Bermuda.

He added: “We have been struggling with structural unemployment for years. Structural unemployment arises from a mismatch between the skill sets employees possess and the skill sets employers demand.”

He said that the island also had a youth employment problem, with “approximately one in four” locked out of the job market.

Mr Hayward added: “We have qualified Bermudians who are underemployed and find it difficult to advance in their profession of choice or can’t find employment in their field of study.”

He said that it was a reality that some employers favoured foreign workers over locals “which further adds to the problem”.

Mr Hayward added: “The employment trend that has Bermudian labour decreasing while the number of guest workers increases is not positive.

“Our employment issues are working against the social advancement of our people, the economic development of our country, and the Government’s ability to make meaningful progress on changing Bermuda’s paradigm on issues of immigration.”

He said the solution to employment problems could be found in the National Workforce Development Plan.

Mr Hayward added: “It provides a vision that places Bermudians at the core of Bermuda’s economic growth.

“It is a plan that will restore hope for many who possess a feeling of hopelessness — a plan that will hopefully draw Bermudians back home because of restored opportunity.”

My Hayward told MPs that he would not waste the opportunity to serve as an MP. He said: “If change is required, a change agent I shall be.”

Mr Hayward was sworn in at the start of the day’s order of business in front of a gallery packed with family and supporters.

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Published Nov 30, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 30, 2019 at 8:05 am)

Hayward calls for less political ‘bickering’

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