Categorized | National News

Payroll Draining BEC

The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) expects to suffer hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 2012, much of which are due to the corporation’s payroll, according to BEC Chairman Leslie Miller.

In an interview with The Bahama Journal this week, Mr. Miller said BEC’s financial status continues to be dire.

The chairman said the regular payroll is a drain for the corporation.

“We are trying to rein in costs as much as we can. The biggest costs for BEC are salary and fuel bills. Last year, BEC spent $348 million on fuel. Most countries in this region don’t spend that kind of money on fuel,” he said.

“Salaries and overtime are in excess of $50 million for less than 1,000 people. The average labourer at BEC without any skills takes home in access of $42,000 per annum. I have nothing against the labourers or the unskilled man and they are the ones who are getting the overtime and complaining?”

Earlier this week, an internal audit revealed that BEC’s workers received more than $11.8 million in overtime pay last year.

That represents an increase of 13.4 per cent over the previous year, reports said.
This overtime was paid to 49 employees and the overtime pay ranged from 75 per cent to 100 per cent of their base pay.
The total amount of workers receiving overtime pay was 876, according to the report.
The report also indicates that in some instances the take home was more than $100,000 when added to the base pay.
Auditors said the overtime payout was “physically impossible, highly dangerous or simply questionable when one considers the law of diminishing marginal productivity.”
“There seems to be no consequences for management failures to manage overtime and the effort to reconsidering hiring additional staff to curtail the excessive overtime worked,” the auditors said.
After Mr. Miller bemoaned the figures in the House of Assembly, members of the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) decided to go on work to rule – refusing to work overtime.
The chairman then told reporters that the workers would be placed on a roster shift system – thereby eliminating excessive overtime.
Mr. Miller said, “In Parliament I stated the facts. You noticed that no one denied it because the facts don’t lie.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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