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Furbert: Cannonier’s Civil Service cuts comments ‘concerning’

Premier Craig Cannonier was this afternoon chastised by Bermuda Industrial Union head Chris Furbert for suggesting cuts might be made to the Civil Service.

In an interview with The Royal Gazette this month, Mr Cannonier warned that Government “certainly can't make any promises” when it came to cutting jobs.

Mr Furbert, who was speaking on behalf of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, called the October 11 remarks by the Premier “concerning” and “strange”.

He said stipulations in the July 22 Memorandum of Understanding with Government, in which public service workers agreed to a pay cut, ruled out the possibility of jobs cuts in the Civil Service.

“It's a bit strange that now we have the Premier coming out and saying this, because the understanding from the MOU was there would be no redundancies,” Mr Furbert said.

Asked if he'd met with Mr Cannonier to voice his concerns, the BIU president acknowledged there could be “better dialogue between all parties”.

He questioned in turn why Mr Cannonier hadn't approached him.

“We certainly are prepared to sit down with the Premier of the Country, and we would also like him to reach out to us,” he said.

Bermuda Public Services Union president Kevin Grant said that while there has been public speculation that job cuts were inevitable, “we have an MOU that states specifically how we were going to go about this particular argument”.

The Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) task force has said Bermuda's economy must be turned around in three years.

Asked if the Commission's statements had influenced Government's thinking, Mr Furbert said: “If we keep shedding jobs, our government will be out of money by 2016.”

BPSU president Kevin Grant (left) and BIU president Chris Fubler (photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published October 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm (Updated October 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm)

Furbert: Cannonier’s Civil Service cuts comments ‘concerning’

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