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BIU, BPSU back MPs salary cut vote

Bermuda’s two largest trade unions, are today commending the Bermuda Government, for “leading by example” by voting to cut the salaries of Members of Parliament by five percent.

Both the Bermuda Public Services Union (BPSU) and the Bermuda Industrial Union said they were pleased to hear the Government followed through on what was promised to the Island’s unions.

The resolution, that came from all sides of the House late Friday night, means all Members of Parliament’s salaries will drop from $56,023 to $53,222 for one year from April 1; and Senators from $30,367 to $28,848.

The Royal Gazette reported on Saturday the pay cut will apply to all MP’s with the exception of those who will be retiring at the next general election.

The retiring MP’s include House Speaker Stanley Lowe, former Premier Alex Scott, National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief, backbenchers Elvin James, Neletha Butterfield, Ashfield DeVent, Walter Lister and One Bermuda Alliance MP Louise Jackson.

When contacted by

The Royal Gazette on Sunday, BPSU President, Kevin Grant said: “I believe the announcement is good and this commitment has been a long time coming.

“We all must realise that these times require thinning differently and doing things differently that we have done in the past. I know the BPSU has been making a real effort to inform our members that this is not the time to think selfishly or personally.

“It is now that we all must try and make a sacrifice for the benefit of this country. With the Premier and the MPs leading from the top then this set the precedent for everyone else to follow.”

BPSU General Secretary Ed Ball Jr concurred and said: “ I am glad to see Government has followed through on what was promised to the country’s unions; I am glad to see they are looking out for the Island’s welfare.

“As Bermudians, we all have to make sure that we do our part to turn Bermuda’s economy around; we are all in the same canoe.”

BIU President Chris Furbert echoed those remarks. “In addition to what the BPSU has said, I am glad to see Government leading by example, I concur with the remarks made by the BPSU,” said Mr Furbert.

Premier Paula Cox told

The Royal Gazette yesterday, “I cannot ask the union leadership and their members to consider making a sacrifice without at least being prepared to do the same. It is a shared effort.

“We will take the blows together, when there are tough times and then as the storm calms and the economic climate improves, we can collectively exhale.

“That is building one another together. We must do more of it.”

Shortly after the vote was taken in the House of Assembly, Ms Cox said: “This is one of those times when the legislature collectively is showing that they are prepared to lead by example and that they are also prepared to share and join hands with the community.

“It helps that we have been prepared to put our money where our mouths are.”

One Bermuda Alliance leader Craig Cannonier told the House Friday night: “From the get-go, we felt it should be the Minister taking a ten percent pay cut. But we are in agreement of this five percent as it stands.”

Kim Swan, who was elected as a United Bermuda Party MP said: “We are appreciative that Government members and the Premier have found it necessary to take a pay decrease.

“The general public have been calling for it. It’s a good reflection of the pain and suffering the Country is feeling at this particular time.”

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Published March 19, 2012 at 10:07 am (Updated March 19, 2012 at 10:07 am)

BIU, BPSU back MPs salary cut vote

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