No lump sum for govt. contract workers

No lump sum for govt. contract workers
Chairman of the Police Staff Association, Sonny Miller.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Police Staff Association (PSA) Executive Chairman Sergeant Sonny Miller called on the government’s intervention to ensure approximately 200 contracted police officers on pension are included in the lump sum payment exercise.

Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Miller said it is an “injustice” to exclude those brothers and sisters in arms who are “still doing all the work”.

“We are still making contact with the persons in authority to have that reconciled because legally we have not came across any reason why they should be excluded from that lump sum payment,” Miller said.

“And we ask that if it’s not fixed, we ask the government to look at it and have it rectified for us.”

He continued: “We need not for them to be left behind because we would really like to see some legal reasons if they are left behind. They are still doing all the work; they are still police officers.

“We can’t move forward while leaving our brothers behind and we consider that some injustice and we want the government to look at that and have that rectified for us.”

Director of Labour John Pinder yesterday confirmed contract workers will not be included in the lump sum exercise unless the Cabinet gives them special consideration.

“For the union, whatever increase you get as it relates to salaries or anything like that is normally extended to the disciplined forces; however, if you are a contract worker you are not eligible for it,” Pinder said.

John Pinder, Director of Labour

Earlier this month, the government signed an agreement with the Bahamas Public Service Union for the $1,400 lump payment in time for the holidays.

Pinder continued: “So, if someone reaches 25 years as a police sergeant and he is going on for an extra 10 years because he did not reach the rank, he is considered a contract worker.

“Even though you may be guaranteed a contract for 10 years, each year he gets a new contract and we consider them contract workers, so most likely they won’t be in it except if there is a special Cabinet paper to say pay them because they are still working.”

Calls placed to Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes were not returned.

The lump sum represents a part of the union’s ongoing negotiations for a new industrial agreement.

Earlier this year, the BPSU proposed a $2,500 lump sum, a $250 base salary increase per month in the first year and another $200 pay raise per month in the third year.

BPSU members include hundreds of employees at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, and the Rand Memorial Hospital.