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School custodians reach agreement on overtime pay

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Department of Education custodians protest outside the Bermuda Industrial Union. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An industrial dispute about overtime payments to school custodians was settled yesterday, The Royal Gazette has learned.

About 25 public school custodians downed tools and gathered at the Bermuda Industrial Union headquarters yesterday morning after they complained they had not been paid overtime expected for work in August to get schools ready for the new term.

One custodian said: “We were asked to do overtime, it was completed and then the Government did not want to pay us for the work that we did.

“We did about 75 hours plus each in August getting the schools ready. There was extra work because of Covid-19.

“It was very last minute, we crammed it into two weeks.

“We were expecting to get paid but the ministry said, ‘we never authorised the overtime’.”

But the BIU members emerged from a meeting at the union headquarters and confirmed that a deal had been thrashed out with the Ministry of Education.

The custodians said they had spoken to Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, and would return to work.

A march through Hamilton was on the cards had an agreement not been reached.

Another custodian said: "We reached an agreement - we are satisfied, for now.

“They said they will pay us for the overtime by the end of this week. If they don't, we will take it from there".

Arnold Smith, the union representative for the custodians, remained inside the headquarters but the BIU was expected to release a statement later yesterday but this did not materialise.

It is understood the industrial action came after custodians stopped work last Monday and Tuesday.

The Royal Gazette has asked the Ministry of Education for comment.

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Published November 09, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated November 09, 2021 at 7:59 am)

School custodians reach agreement on overtime pay

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