Categorized | National News

BEC Chairman Denies Power Outage Claims

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Chairman Leslie Miller has denied Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Stephano Greene’s claims that its customers will see an increase in outages during daytime hours for maintenance work due to efforts to reduce overtime costs.

The union president, in a recent article in a local daily, suggested that a move to lower overtime costs resulted in a number of maintenance work, which could be done in evening hours with little disruption to businesses, being carried out during business hours.

BEC said Mr. Greene’s claim is “deceptive at best.”

“Where possible, the Corporation has always conducted maintenance work during daytime hours. Only in situations where there will be major disruptions for an extended period of time or an impediment to traffic flow would maintenance work be scheduled for evening hours,” Mr. Miller said.

While Mr. Greene suggests customers may see more disruptions during the day Mr. Miller has a contrasting view on the matter.

“The scheduling of maintenance work during daytime hours has its benefits, including limiting the disruption to residents while they are at home during evening at night time hours,” he said.

“I believe residents would find it more of an inconvenience if their supply were interrupted in the evening hours when they are at home, preparing meals, doing homework, or preparing for the next day.”

Additionally, Mr. Miller suggests that this is just a tactic being used by the union president to force the Corporation’s hand with regard to overtime.

Mr. Miller said Mr. Greene is attempting to incense the public in the hopes that this will prompt BEC to transition maintenance work to the evening hours resulting in overtime costs.

Mr. Miller says BEC has instead presented the union with another strategy which is to allow rostering and flexitime.

“By implementing a rostering system, the Corporation would be able to schedule maintenance work, which cannot be done in the daytime, for the evening hours without incurring significant overtime costs. This will inevitably save the Corporation millions of dollars,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, the union has rejected proposals for rostering and flexitime suggesting that they be paid extra to work the same seven hours they would have worked on any normal day. BEC is an essential service and in every essential service sector there is a shift system and none of those individuals are given extra money to perform the same job functions during the same amount of hours.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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