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DPT bus driver dispute continues

Bus operators will continue a work-to-rule until safety problems at the St George’s bus depot are tackled, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union said yesterday.

Chris Furbert was speaking after bus service BIU members gathered yesterday for talks as part of a dispute that has seen a work-to-rule imposed.

Mr Furbert said that the work-to-rule would only be lifted if two portable air-conditioned restrooms were made available for bus staff in St George’s.

He added the BIU had made Zane DeSilva, the transport minister, aware of the condition.

Mr Furbert said the workers were not comfortable using the facilities in St George’s because of health and safety fears.

He added: “It is my understanding that place has been condemned twice. They have to use the facility every day, that’s where they sign on and off.”

He said workers were also concerned about the poor condition of the depot in Dockyard.

Mr Furbert added that bus staff also wanted changes to their job descriptions and complained about radios which are not working, lack of security for cashiers, the flooring in eastern depots and roaches on the buses.

Mr Furbert said drafts of new job descriptions would be available by tomorrow.

He said 16 new staff members were also expected to be hired to ease a shortage of 25 staff members in maintenance and operations. The bus operators started a work-to-rule last Thursday, over what Mr DeSilva said was “a myriad of issues”.

Cancellations of bus routes this week have included school services. The DPT announced a total of 46 cancellations on Tuesday afternoon and 20 on yesterday.