Categorized | Featured, National News

BPSU Protests Outside Cabinet

Doctors Protest (2)

Hundreds of public service workers yesterday huddled in the rain at the entrance of the Cabinet office downtown staging a sick-out and protesting with one intention, a meeting with the prime minister. 

This after some 200 members at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) walked off the job on Wednesday. 

Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President Kimsley Ferguson said, “Persons are here in the rain. So, this must mean something to them. We need to get an understanding from the prime minister as to how we are going to move forward.”

“We just need answers. We have no problem with him coming to address the people, but we need some form of response,” Mr. Ferguson added. 

This all stems from a discussion with the prime minister about receiving funding to assist workers with back-to-school expenses. 

Mr. Ferguson this week shared with The Bahama Journal that there was an agreement with the prime minister to pay public servants and PMH employees some $1,200, but there was a misunderstanding. 

The prime minister has since made an offer to distribute the funds in $600 increments. 

He said, “The membership and workers of the public service are burdened beneath the heavy load of value added tax, the increase in the cost of living and and the inability to satisfactorily take care of themselves. So, we are out here advocating for funding.”

At this point, Mr. Ferguson said union members are beyond the $1,200 increase.

He said they are more interested in finding out exactly how the government is going to address the union’s entire industrial agreement which was expired since 2017.

President of the National Trade Union Congress Bernard Evans was also in attendance supporting this industrial action.

“This is the plight of the people. The civil service is those just above the poverty line and maybe some just below. So, $1,200 means a lot to them,” he said.

“We are out here to show Mr. Ferguson and the union our full support. If they are not satisfied today, we will come out tomorrow. This will not end until we get the resolution and the desired result that we want.”

After an hour of protesting and unsuccessful attempts at contacting the prime minister, Mr. Ferguson advised union members to leave as he didn’t want any of them to become sick from standing in the rain. 

He expects to have meeting with the Public Hospitals Authority to chart the way forward. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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