Negotiations on new industrial agreement to continue in 2020
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After months of tense negotiations that led to a demonstration in August, the Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) yesterday signed an agreement with the government that will see its members receive a $1,400 lump sum payment in time for the holidays.
A copy of the signed agreement, dated December 4, indicated BPSU members will receive the lump sum payment effective December 2019.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle and BPSU President Kimsley Ferguson.
When contacted, Ferguson told Eyewitness News Online said the signing was one part of the
union’s ongoing industrial agreement negotiations.
The union’s previous industrial agreement expired in 2018.
He said negotiations will continue on new agreement in second week of January 2020. He advised the union was reviewing a counterproposal for the remaining financial matters.
Earlier this year, the BPSU proposed a $250 base salary increase per month in the first year, a
$2,500 lump sum payment in the second year and another $200 pay raise per month in the
third year for members.
Speaking to yesterday’s signing, Ferguson said the payment will see public servants placed in a
better financial position moving into the holidays and the upcoming new year.
“I believe that this lump sum payment is the largest lump sum payment in this history of the public service and it is basically an incentive for the membership to continue to be the productive public servants that they are to continue to render that service to the public that is needful at this particular juncture,” Ferguson said.
“So, they are hardworking public servants and they deserve some sort of incentive to continue to be what they have been to the Bahamian public.”
Cabinet had suggested the payment be split into two lump sums of $600 — one in August and
another in December.
In August, hundreds of BPSU members marched on Bay Street to the Churchill Building, where members demanded money, they said the government ought to pay them immediately.
The BPSU’s members included hundreds of employees at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre and Rand Memorial Hospital.
According to reports, the value of the lump sum is estimated at $20 million.