Bermuda Ministers Take Pay Cut; Union Says Burden Must Be Re-Balanced

(LOOP NEWS CARIBBEAN) – Bermuda’s Premier David Burt said parliamentarians are leading from the front, having agreed to a salary reduction of 12.5%.

At present Ministers earn $156,864 annually.

This announcement comes shortly after the government approached the Bermuda Public Services Union with a proposal to cut employee payroll and benefits by an estimated $106.8 and reduce all other spending by $43 million.

The BPSU in a statement said public officers and professionals are dedicated to serving the people of Bermuda.

“Many BPSU members have been serving on the COVID-19 frontline since the beginning og the pandemic at the very risk of their own lives. There are wide-sweeping economic consequences associated with a cut in Public Officers’ salaries. Public service employees are taxpayers and cuts to their salaries will negatively impact tax revenues.”

The BPSU further stated that public officers are the largest employee consumer group on the island and are major supporters of local businesses.

“We strongly contend that any mutually agreed salary cut for public officers must be coupled with private-sector relief including a reduction in mortgage interest rates, electricity costs, food costs and health insurance premiums. It is the position of the BPSU that there must be shared sacrifice and a re-balancing of the burden. This is even more important given the economic crisis the country is facing as the inequities in Bermuda have been magnified.”

Finance Minister Curtis Dickson said the pandemic has created an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude.

He said COVID-19 has already caused a decline in government revenue and projects that the unbudgeted expenditure for this fiscal year could exceed $70 million.