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BEC Saves $4M By Slashing Overtime–Miller says reduction has led to a 24 per cent decrease in fuel surcharge

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller credited massive slashes to employees’ overtime for leading to a 24 per cent fuel surcharge reduction over the past few months in consumers’ electricity bills.

Mr. Miller said the reduction in overtime pay and the end of double-dipping are the primary factors for the decrease.

Last year, Mr. Miller and BEC’s union were embroiled in a heated battle over the chairman’s decision to reduce the amount of overtime hours employees were allowed to work.

But according to Mr. Miller, so far this year, the change has saved the corporation millions of dollars.

“Last year we decreased overtime by over $4.2 million in 12 months,” Mr. Miller said.

“So far for the first quarter of this year we cut overtime by an extra $2.2 million. So we got $4.2 million last year and so far for this year we’re on track to bring down overtime again by a substantial margin. Thank God we’ve also cut out sick leave. You know the double pay? The Honourable Shane Gibson indicated that stopped. Well, it stopped for the corporation too. That saves us another $1.8 million a year.”

The BEC chairman said while he has overtime under control here in the capital, the corporation’s Family Island workers now seem to be raking in more in overtime pay than their base salaries.

“Some fellas still trying to kill overtime,” he said.

“In the Family Islands we have a serious problem. In Abaco, Eleuthera and Bimini we have some cases where some guys make over 100 per cent of their pay in overtime. I’m going to do something about that. It is unfair for a fella to take home $30,000 in base pay and $42,000 in overtime. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on there. That’s five of them in just one area.”

Mr. Miller said these men will have to straighten up and get the job done or be sent packing. He added that the corporation still has a long way to go before it’s financially stable, but it is getting there.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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