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Unions want unified response to pay cut proposal

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Bermuda's unions are working toward a “unified” response to Government's wage proposals in time for Budget day.

“We wanted to be unified in our response to them,” said Trade Union Congress president Shine Hayward following a meeting yesterday at the Bermuda Public Services Union headquarters.

“We will be back in touch with our members because whatever we say to Government will reflect the request and the needs of our membership.”

Mr Hayward said that there were “many concerns” surrounding the Government's proposals.

“We wanted to confirm that all of the proposals received by the respective unions were pretty much the same and we wanted to be on the same page moving forward.”

The Bermuda Industrial Union, represented by its president Chris Furbert and Molly Burgess joined the Trade Union Congress, an umbrella organisation of about five unions, for the two-hour meeting.

Represented at the meeting at the Bermuda Public Services Union headquarters were the Island's blue collar workers, essential services as well as civil servants.

Mr Hayward said that the process going forward would be “very short”.

“We're sure that the Premier wants the feedback before the next Budget,” he said.

But whether an agreement is hammered out by then “depends on how the Premier responds to our concerns.

“I'm sure that she will respond rapidly as it is her Budget that she wants to deliver.”

Government has asked for an eight percent wage cut in return for a year's freeze on payments into the pension system.

Mr Hayward said: “We all appreciate the fact that we do need all hands on deck. And I think at the end of the day, based on the facts that we have received, I'm certain that the people of Bermuda would want to work with the Government and, vice versa, the Government working with the people to bring positive solutions to the crisis that we are now faced with.

“Because if we don't work together and find positive solutions it's only going to get worse.”

Shine Hayward, president of the Trade Union Congress, arrives for the meeting.
Stanfield Smith arrives for the TUC meeting.
Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert arrives with Molly Burgess.
Craig Clarke, of the Prison Officers? Association attended the TUC meeting.
Kevin Christopher arrives for the meeting.
Keisha Douglas and Mike Charles, of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, arrive for the TUC meeting.
Kevin Grant, president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, attended the meeting.

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Published February 09, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated February 09, 2012 at 8:55 am)

Unions want unified response to pay cut proposal

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