NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The National Tripartite Council’s vice-chairman yesterday expressed surprise over Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’s recent revelation of a pending minimum wage increase for the public sector.
Peter Goudie told Eyewitness News Online: “I have no knowledge of the prime minister talking about an increase in the minimum wage period. That isn’t something that has been presented to the National Tripartite Council. That’s the first I’ve heard that. It’s news to me.”
The Council’s purpose is to advise the government on the formulation of national policies and strategies on all aspects of labour, productivity, quality and competition; review and advise the government on ILO matters and conference agendas; and examine and re-examine at appropriate intervals ILO Conventions and Recommendations that have not been ratified or implemented and recommend appropriate measures for the promotion of their ratification and implementation.
Minnis recently stated on the sidelines of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association annual general meeting that there will be an increase in minimum wage for government employees.
“What I can also say is the minimum wage that government pays its staff, that will be elevated, but the minister responsible for public service will give more details on that,” said Minnis.
Goudie, the Chamber of Commerce’s top labour specialist noted that The Bahamas is serious financial trouble given the projected $3.4 billion worth of devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.
“The unions need to get realistic and understand that we have a serious problem in this country. They need to get real. We need to all get together and understand that we need to move this country forward,” said Goudie.