72 managers take VSEPs at Grand Lucayan
Seventy-two managers at the Grand Lucayan were paid $3.3 million in voluntary separation packages (VSEPs) after months of ongoing negotiations, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday.
D’Aguilar had previously said that 91 managers at the resort had agreed to take the VSEPs.
“I’m delighted to report that 72 persons took advantage of the voluntary separation package,” D’Aguilar said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
“The total payout to them was $2.89 million and if you include the annuity that has been put aside for them by the hotel over the years, the total payout amounted to $3.3 million.
“The number of employees taking advantage of the VSEP is slightly less than we originally anticipated.
“We had thought that there were going to be  persons but at the end of the day only 72 persons decided to take advantage of the voluntary separation.
“But the process went very smoothly. I think the unions are quite happy with the process and how it was all handled…”
In October 2018, members of the resort’s management volunteered for the separation packages. In April, it was revealed that negotiations had reached an impasse between the managers and the government.
Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association (BHMA) President Obie Ferguson said the managers were seeking roughly $5 million.
In May, the government agreed to a $4.4 million VSEP payout for 91 of the 115 managers at the resort.
D’Aguilar said he isn’t sure why the 19 managers opted out of the packages. However, he added that the cost of running the hotel will decrease significantly in light of the separations. Asked how much the cost would decline by, he said he didn’t have the figures on hand.
He went on to say that the hotel is still on course to be sold before the end of the year.