BPSU president: Union committed to revitalisation of Bermuda
New Bermuda Public Services Union president Kevin Grant says he's committed to revitalising Bermuda not just the union as he reflected on claims inflated pay increases have hurt the Island.
Mr Grant stressed the need for thorough research and discussion to avoid the kind of costly mistakes Trade Union Congress past president Maynard Dill claims were made by former union bosses.
Earlier this month, Mr Dill told the BPSU triennial delegates' conference unions reaped dire consequences for the Island by winning excessive pay rises for workers in years gone by.
This damaged the economy, he said, by lifting wages to an unsustainable level and encouraging a culture of complacency among workers.
It's thought to be the first time a leading union representative conceded unions may have gone too far in seeking to get the best possible deal for employees.
Mr Grant, who succeeded Armell Thomas as BPSU boss at that meeting told
The Royal Gazette: “I believe that quite often there is a misconception that unions do not try to be cognisant of the state of the economy and conditions that affect the workforce.
“Of course our main objective is to represent our members. However I believe if we do not engage in pertinent research and discussion we are not fully representing our members.
“It is important to note that Mr Dill was addressing the theme of the conference which centred around revitalising our union.
“So for me he identified aspects to invigorate our members to start thinking about revitalisation which, for example, could involve being more proactive rather than reactive.
“We work very hard as a union to negotiate benefits for our membership and going forward we have committed to doing what we can to not only revitalising ourselves but also revitalising the Country.”
Mr Dill had told the conference unions were guilty of naive mistakes and a lack of understanding while they attempted to win social justice for workers.
He said inflated wages can lead to unemployment and a resulting decrease in GDP growth. Instead, he said, workers should have been urged to train and develop, which would have better prepared them for the downturn.
Mr Grant said of Mr Dill: “I am well aware of his passion and commitment to trade unionism. His presentation to the delegates conference was both meaningful and thought provoking.”