Union boss laments payroll system hiccups at BPL

A new payroll system reportedly launched last week within Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has led to delayed payments to some of its line staff employees, leaving some feeling disgruntled, Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Kyle Wilson said yesterday.

Guardian Business understands that in addition to delayed payroll for some employees, overtime payments as well as direct payments arranged by workers were also delayed.

Wilson said this has caused some trepidation across the union’s 500-plus membership.

“A lot of them would have called me, a lot of them would have been upset with concerns on the rollout of a new payroll system. A lot of persons’ salaries might have been a little late and they may not have gotten their overtime. But I encouraged them to get out there and do their best,” he told Guardian Business.

“From my understanding there’s a new payroll system that was implemented this week. I’m not too familiar with the payroll system so I can’t speak to it, but I know it was rolled out this week. I guess the intent of it was to actually make it better, but I guess they had some hiccups with it and up to this point, even up to about five minutes ago, I had a person call me asking me for an update on salaries, overtime and deduction payments that would have been made. But I guess it’s a new system and I’m asking the members to basically be as patient with it as they can. But I know that led to a lot of frustrations as well this week.”

When Guardian Business contacted BPL regarding this particular issue, the company responded, “We do not discuss internal matters such as pay systems in the press.”

Despite what he called “a few disgruntled” workers, Wilson said the matter of delayed payment had no bearing on the performance of line staff in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Isaias.

“I can assure you, the members are professionals, highly skilled and trained individuals that do this job and in spite of that these guys were working. I don’t know what would have led to the disruptions or the slow turn-ons, but from the workers’ standpoint, these guys are out there working. I’m calling the guys and checking on them and everyone seems to be upbeat, to be honest with you,” he said.

“We live in a small society, so you have friends calling on you, you have family members calling on you, so these guys are going to do their best to make sure the power is on.”

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