Three issues relating to labour relations
This letter briefly addresses three matters pertaining to labour relations in Bermuda.
The points raised are job advertisements that require academic degrees for jobs not requiring such degrees, the need for the formation of a trade union in the private sector for administrators and, finally, employer abuse of employees.
In your newspaper today (July 17), there appears an advertisement placed by Island Employment Partners Ltd for a medical office receptionist who must have a bachelor’s degree in a medical or business-related field. Really? Another example are advertisements for corporate administrators where some companies are now requiring a bachelor’s degree instead of the standard Corp Sec I and II professional development courses. What Bermudian in their right mind is going to send their child to university and pay over $100,000 for them to get an education to come back and be a receptionist or administrator?
With respect to my second point on the need for an administrators trade union for the private sector, there would be no need for a union if employers treated administrators fairly.
Currently, Bermuda has well-organised unions for teachers, civil service and trades/hospitality. For banks, auditing firms, legal and fund managers, there is no employee representation.
Regarding employers’ abuse of employees, I have witnessed and have been told of some startling stories over the last several years of economic recession.
Employers have cut staff and, while the economy has seen some minor improvement, the staff left behind are doing two, sometimes three, persons’ jobs; benefits are not being paid, in particular health insurance; the probationary period legislated is being abused and non-managers in the financial industry are expected to work overtime without pay or time in lieu.
Going back to my first point of job advertisements requiring overinflated qualifications, why isn’t the Ministry of Home Affairs paying attention? The example of the medical office receptionist position should be amended to medical office manager.