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PHA and BPSU sign new agreement

Under a new industrial agreement signed between the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) yesterday, union members will see salary increases, an expansion of hazard allowance, and an increase in rent and subsistence allowance.

The three-year agreement is valued at $10 million, PHA Managing Director Aubynette Rolle said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the BPSU who served as strong advocates for their membership across the negotiating table while remaining open to reasonable compromise,” she said during the signing at the Office of the Prime Minister. 

BPSU President Kimsley Ferguson thanked Rolle and Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville for their patience.

“We are satisfied that this is something that we can sign off on on behalf of the employees in the PHA,” Ferguson said, noting that his union represents nearly 3,000 PHA employees. 

“Nobody really gets everything that they want in an agreement but we are satisfied and we believe that this is something that we can build on moving forward.

“One of the features that we were really pleased to have accomplished is the additional compensation for the hazard allowance and [eventually] arriving at health insurance, which will be more beneficial.”

Rolle explained that the agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025.

BPSU employees at PHA will see a series of incremental salary increases over three years with one in the first year, two in the second year and another in the final year, she said.

There are also increases to project pay and the expansion of categories of staff eligible to receive monthly hazard allowance, she said.

“We’ve also increased our rental allowance by $50 per month across the Commonwealth,” Rolle said.

“We’ve increased the subsistence allowance. An expansion of compassionate leave is also included to in-laws.”

The agreement also gives six weeks’ leave for employees who are adopting a child under the age of one.

“One major element of this agreement is the PHA’s official commitment to working towards the provision of incremental health insurance for all employees covered under this agreement,” Rolle noted.

Ferguson said that his union’s relationship with the government remains “harmonious”.

“We do believe that we have a relationship that we can build on moving forward,” he said.

“We are hopeful that it can be enhanced.”

JUMPLINE:

Agreement valued at $10 million

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.

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