Bermuda government looking to cut workers salaries by eight per cent
Cuts could mean to layoffs for next 12 months.
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Monday February 6, 2012 – Government workers in Bermuda are today faced with the possibility of experiencing an eight per cent pay cut in salaries.
However, Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) president Chris Furbert explained that there would be a corresponding eight per cent in deduction in the workers’ pension contributions to balance out the figures and keep workers’ income at the same level.
“What was presented to the membership was that the Premier of the country asked our members to consider an eight percent deduction in their superannuation (contributions). It's normally eight percent for the Government and eight percent for the employee,” he said.
He explained that government had tabeled a suggestion to freeze pension contributions to the superannuation fund from itself and from employees during a joint meeting last Monday with the BIU and the Bermuda Public Services Union.
It is still unclear at this time whether all government workers or just civil servants earning more than $70, 000 a year will be affected by the salary cuts.
“We have got to get that clarified. We thought it was going to be just for PS scales 22 up but we understand now they want it across the board,” he said.
If accepted the proposed freeze in pension contributions will start on April 1 and affect all government workers except those about to retire.
“Anybody that's due to retire between April 1 2012 to March 31 2013, those individuals will not be affected by the freeze of pension contributions. They will not be losing 12 months of benefits. Those people are going to be excluded,” he explained.
However, the BIU is yet to accept or reject government’s proposal which will also see government promising no layoffs or redundancies over the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, Furbert disclosed that Premier Paula Cox had offered to take a pay cut herself as a sign of the tough economic times, but could not speak as to whether or not the Cabinet will follow suit.
All the unions are expected to meet on Wednesday at noon to discuss the proposals further.