Hundreds of Bahamas Customs and Immigration officers could have long awaited money in their pockets sooner than they anticipated, according to Labour Minister Shane Gibson who on Tuesday told reporters that payouts would be made before of by the end of March this year.
However, in a brief address in the House of Assembly yesterday, Minister Gibson noted that after a meeting with the Ministry of Finance the payout timeline is bumped up to the end of this month.
“I spoke to the fact that we will try to pay Customs and Immigration who applied by the end of February but the payment will be made no later than the 29th of March.
“During my interview, yesterday I told the press that we were looking at the end of March because of the number of applications that we had for persons to be paid.”
Minister Gibson said that this is good news.
“This morning at 8:30 we had a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and we found out that out of the 569 uniformed customs officers 517 of these officers applied to be paid out. And out of the approximately 300 immigration officers approximately 87 of those applied to be paid.
“And so, we made a decision that we will pay these officers the end of this month, the end of February we will pay them,” Minister Gibson said in his remarks.
Mr. Gibson further noted that the officers who have applied will receive payment via vouchers at the end of the month.
Since his comments in the House, Mr. Gibson noted that uniformed officers that have not made application as yet, should do so, in writing, before 5:00 p.m. today in order to be paid.
Meanwhile, Bahamas Customs Immigration and Allied Workers Union President Sloane Smith has openly accused the minister of playing politics during this election season, in a press conference held at the House of Labor last week on the same matter.