Unions agree to Govt’s pay cut and pension plan – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Unions agree to Govt’s pay cut and pension plan

The Trade Union Congress and the Bermuda Industrial Union have agreed in principle to Government’s wage cut and pensions contribution proposal.

The Police Association is the only union which has not yet made a decision. A spokesman for the Police Association said an electronic vote will be held this week to allow all members to participate.

TUC President Shine Hayward said that individual unions representing public sector workers in his organisation had their own caveats, along with the BIU which is not a member of the TUC, and will be expressing them directly to the Government.

But a letter has been sent to Government today following a meeting of the five affected TUC member unions and the BIU this morning.

“The Trade Union Congress and the Bermuda Industrial Union have agreed in principle to Government’s proposal,” said Mr Hayward.

“Each individual union have their own caveat and they are responding directly to Government with respect to their caveats.”

On the Police Association, Mr Hayward said: “We are also hoping that they too will come on board, understanding the situation we are in. Of course, they too will have their caveats.”

Asked to elaborate on the caveats, Mr Hayward said: “It’s really about the how. They want to help but it’s agreeing on the how.”

Government’s proposal is to cut wages to be matched by a freeze of worker’s contributions into the public servants pension funds. Take home pay will not be adversely affected and could even see a modest increase by the arrangement.

Meanwhile in Friday’s Budget, Ms Cox announced Government’s contribution to the civil servants’ pension fund would be frozen for a year to create $31 million “fiscal space”.

That money will be returned to the fund in future years, according to Ms Cox, who said the fund would be reviewed to determine how to make it sustainable. Acting Financial Secretary Anthony Manders described the move as a one-off strategy.

Last night, Ms Cox’s media team did not reply when asked how any savings as a result of the unions deal would fit into the Budget.

She said last week that an agreement reached after the Budget debate begins would mean “unexpected savings” which will benefit the people of Bermuda.

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Published February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm (Updated February 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm)

Unions agree to Govt’s pay cut and pension plan

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