The Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) is requesting two increases, two lump sum payments and a salary review in its industrial agreement negotiations with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) on behalf of its members, according to BPSU President Kimsley Ferguson.
However, Ferguson said meetings for those negotiations continue to be postponed.
“I am very concerned and I am hearing little innuendos about the place that persons are trying to stall the negotiations,” he told reporters in a recent interview.
“I heard it. I didn’t pay any attention to it. There are some indications of some things that are causing me to lean towards the fact that that may be what is happening.”
The union was expected to meet with the PHA on Friday.
“I am very concerned because there are Bahamians out there who have the challenge of preparing their kids for going back to school and they need relief, they need assistance,” Ferguson continued.
“So we’re going to agitate and we don’t want to have to take any extreme measures that is going to affect the operation of the Public Hospital’s Authority or the public service.
“We are appealing to those persons in authority, please, our motto says ‘reasoning together accomplishes’, and so we want to be able to reason, and arrive at a reasonable resolve, so that these persons, who are turning the wheels of the public service in the various organization where members of the public are going to be impacted, can receive some sort of relief and assistance in getting their children prepared for school.”
The BPSU president said their members include hundreds of employees at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Rand Memorial Hospital and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.
Ferguson noted, “We had placed a proposal on the table for the government…which would have been a $350 increase, a lump sum payment of $3,500, another increase of $200 and another lump sum payment, and then a salary review”.
The PHA did not have a comment on the matter up to press time.
Ferguson also noted that negotiations with the Ministry of Public Service has also come to a standstill.
“We’ve been away from the table now going on the tenth week and we were promised that we would get a counter proposal regarding the finances of that particular negotiation, hence we haven’t received anything,” he said.
He added that the union is also requesting increases, lump sum payments and salary reviews for its members in the public service.