Categorized | National News

Davis: Entire Public Service Double Dipping

Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) workers are not the only ones double dipping in the National Insurance Board (NIB) fund.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, the entire public service is guilty of it and that this is an issue the government has been closely watching for quite a while and one that needs to be immediately addressed.

“I was chairman of NIB between 2002 and 2007 and at the time we had on the table plans of actively addressing this issue because it happens in the whole public service,” Minister Davis told reporters on Monday. “In the public service while they are off sick they are paid a full salary and they claim from NIB and it was never intended to be that way.

“National Insurance is just that – an insurance.”

Mr. Davis said quite simply the NIB fund is available so that anyone sick from work for a period of time would not miss a pay day.

Over the past several weeks, BEC union heads and BEC executive management have butted heads over this issue after Executive Chairman Leslie Miller mandated that BEC workers no longer double dip – that is receive sick benefits as well as their full pay checks when out sick.

BEC workers have since threatened to cut power supply to all its consumers if the government does not step in and reverse this decision.

Deputy Prime Minister Davis said the fact that insults and threats are being hurled from both sides prove this already tense relationship has come to a dark place.

“It’s sad that they would be issuing threats of the kind that they are because at the end of the day it’s the Bahamian people we are serving,” he said.

“Threatening one another, whether it’s the chairman threatening the union or the union threatening the management or the chairman does not produce anything productive. I hope what was said was said in the heat of the moment and that such threats would not manifest itself in actuality.”

The deputy prime minister said he has decided to stay out of the fray for now, adding that if an appeal is made to him he will respond.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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