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Christmas bonus for BEC staff deferred

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

BEC employees will have less of a Merry Christmas this year, as the Corporation has decided to “defer” Christmas bonuses because of “financial constraints”, The Tribune understands.

In a letter dated December 9, 2013, addressed to General Manager, Kevin Basden, Corporation Chairman Leslie Miller said after careful consideration, the corporation has decided not to pay Christmas bonuses this year, but will do so when the company “finds itself in a better position”.

“Please be advised that after careful consideration of the financial situation which this Corporation presently finds itself in, it has been decided in full concurrence with the Hon. Phillip Brave Davis, the Minister responsible for the Corporation, that the proposed 2013 Christmas bonuses for Executive Management, Middle Management and Junior Staff be deferred until such time as the Corporation finds itself in a better financial position,” the letter said.

This deferral will enable us to live up to our financial obligations for the procurement of fuel, supplies as well as other financial obligations. I am sure we all agree that these tough economic times affect the lives of each and every Bahamian. It is therefore fitting that the personnel at BEC appreciate the current state of affairs and act accordingly. I, therefore, request that you immediately impart this information to all concerned.”

Speaking with The Tribune, President of the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union, Stephano Greene said as far as he in concerned employees are still getting their bonuses because “Leslie Miller cannot stop this.”

“The union,” he said, “has not agreed to anything, so far all they have is a memo from Mr Miller about the bonus being deferred, but the union knew nothing about it. The issue of Christmas bonus is in our contract and that is binding no one person can change the terms and conditions. If it is to be changes, both parties have to agree and we have not and will not.

“Bonuses are to be paid on the 15th of December. It is unfair that days before payday Mr Miller decides he does not want to do it. People have mad plans for their money, do not come to us and say you aren’t doing it. Something is wrong with that. Mr Miller is causing crime to happen because if they can’t get their bonuses the only thing they can do to get the money is rob.”

Mr Green said if they are not paid the bonuses they will have no other choice but to take “legal and industrial action”.

He said he is waiting on official word from Acting Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis before they make their next move.

This announcement comes after Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government will “outlaw” double-dipping at the corporation.

Last week, Mr Miller said the government has decided that employees from all government corporations and departments will no longer be able to collect their full salaries and National Insurance sick pay benefits, effective March 1, 2014.

Comments

B_I_D___ 9 years, 1 month ago

Better make sure my generator is topped up with fuel!!

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ThisIsOurs 9 years, 1 month ago

What time is Christmas dinner? I don't have a generator

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jackflash 9 years, 1 month ago

"if they can’t get their bonuses the only thing they can do to get the money is rob.”

Did I read this correctly?

Is this guy for real?

I hope that Davis and Miller don't cave in and PGC doesn't overrule them....

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realfreethinker 9 years, 1 month ago

If the contract say they both have to agree to not get bonuses then i think they ought to negotiate that away. there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. There are consequences to doing things unilaterally

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ThisIsOurs 9 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't trust any interpretation Stephano Greene provides. He has proven to date that he either does not know the law or he cannot comprehend what is written

I don't know any company that guarantees a bonus. It doesn't make sense.

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ThisIsOurs 9 years, 1 month ago

(Caveat, unless it's something akin to a sickness benefit, i.e. you're paid for sick days you didn't take during the year)

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Honeybun 9 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't both parties have to negotiate and agree to this??? I don't know how Mr. Miller can do this but they better not try no foolishness with my electricity.

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banker 9 years, 1 month ago

A union spokesman says that if they don't get Christmas bonuses, they will rob? What? How old is he? Has everyone gone crazy?

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John 9 years, 1 month ago

Where is Christmas anyway? When you walk into even some of even the bigger stores on the island it is like you are walking through a time warp. All the Christmas merchandise seem to be from years gone by and most of the customers seem to be doing regular shipping and ignoring the Christmas items anyway, If this is a sign of things to come retailers will have a very testing first quarter come 2014 and then comes the VAT monster shortly thereafter.

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bismark 9 years, 1 month ago

Where did B.E.C find this man?you would think that one who would lead so many should have at least some kind of common sense when making statements which comprise of utter nonsense 'they can get the money they will rob?is Mr Greene insinuating that all employees of B.E.C are ready to go out and commit armed robbery because they didn't get their xmas bonus?there are more pressing situations in society,people losing their homes,jobs,banks taking vehicles,come on stop being so damn selfish at least you all have a good paying job,some people don't have anything!

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henny 9 years, 1 month ago

Although I agree with Mr. Miller, all contracts have to be negotiated and accepted by both parties before being changed. The fact it is 2 weeks before Christmas, the subject of bonuses should have been talked about sometime ago not now as well as the "double dipping" issue. As for Mr. Green he makes himself look REAL STUPID for making comments regarding employees will rob if they don't get their bonus. Bonuses are not a guaranty and should only be given if merit warrants. So Mr. Miller keep doing what you do. Seems like you are the only one with the brains trying to keep BEC running without going under.

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ohdrap4 9 years, 1 month ago

I nominate this stephano fella for the JACKASS OF THE YEAR award

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Ironvelvet 9 years, 1 month ago

First of all a bonus is exactly what that word implies, a bonus. It is not a guaranteed part of a salary or to be considered pay for services rendered. A bonus should never be an expectation. For the employees to have made plans with money they don't have is foolish. And for Mr. Greene to insinuate that employees WITH jobs will go out and rob if they don't get their bonus is preposterous!! Should the police start questioning BEC employees when there is an armed robbery? (being sarcastic and cynical here) The entitlement of the average Bahamian to have a certain lifestyle is what is wrong with the mentality of our communities that leads us to the current surge in crime.

When times are tough one must cut back and live economically and make sacrifices. Since when did having to live meagerly equate to a justification of crime? Are these the ruminations of our so called 'Christian nation'? It seems as though those at BEC who have been getting a triple salary from over time and getting paid twice with sick and NIB pay, has only added to the entitlement.

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jackflash 9 years, 1 month ago

Rob as in - cooper wire theft???

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B_I_D___ 9 years, 1 month ago

It's not the first time our dear Mr. Greene has threatened both violence and crime...and we wonder why the country is going to the dumps...the police and other union officials are too afraid to touch him or shut him up. I would have him tailed and followed 24/7, since he is SOOOO very quick to push crime. My bet is, he is either a past criminal...or maybe even one still in action...not include the union crimes of course.

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John 9 years, 1 month ago

Leslie Miller has effectively cut the salaries ( should I say incomes) of some BEC workers by fifty percent. He has cut back on the overtime, cut back on those who were making outrageous amounts of money doing disconnections, he is eliminating the double dipping by staff who were being paid by the corporation and NIB when they were sick and not working and now he is saying the poorly performing and cash strapped company cannot afford to pay Christmas bonuses. He is really pouring it on. BEC union has never been brought to its knees in this fashion and they know Mr. Miller has the public's support. Take this same 'hatchet' through all government corporations and the government will be able to meet its financial obligations with ease and not have to worry about the country being downgraded, financially, in 12 months.

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bcitizen 9 years, 1 month ago

A bonus is a bonus something extra given to a employee when the company has had a good year. It is not a salary or a guaranteed income. If a company has made no profit or lost money like most private companies have in the past few years Christmas bonus have not been given. It is outlandish that BEC losses money and needs tax payer subsidization on top of their already ridiculous prices to even contemplate a Christmas bonus for anyone! No private company would be doing this.

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Bahamianpride 9 years, 1 month ago

Wooo did I just read that.. he did say rob, wow... such a sense of entitlement... is it not enough the double dipping by employees, now they want a bonuses even though BEC is in the red.. what's next new personal cars, spa treatments, gourmet meals....

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Greentea 9 years, 1 month ago

This fella is a sign of the depth of this country's problems. We not only have the thugs holding you up in your own homes and driveways- you have supposedly working folks like this Greene fellow holding up the public treasury with this kind of foolishness and threatening to join the thugs in open anti-social behavior if he doesn't get his way. I never evah thought I would take Leslie Miller's side in anything- but Mr. Miller- I gat ya back on this one. BEC hasn't made a red cent in years. How on earth could it give bonuses? Based on what may I ask? Why would employees of an underperforming company expect a bonus when it needs to borrow money to meet its obligations? These folks don't understand the first thing about businesses and bottomlines and dont care. They have earned a lot of money from growing incompetence and doing just enough to keep the light on "most" of the time. Therefore they have zero interest in performing any better. Mr. Greene- you should be ashamed- but this performance of course tells me- you have none- shame that is.

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croberts6969 9 years, 1 month ago

Anyone know where this Stephano Greene lives? Someone needs to post it so the robbers can go rob his stupid ass. Wait till after the 15th though when his gets his bonus.

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HolandObserver 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought that bonus was based on performance- both by the employee and the business. To my knowledge, B.E.C has been losing money and is not profitable. Granted, there are instances in which a bonuses can be given to reward employees for their performance. However, can we the Bahamian really agree that the employees of BEC deserve a bonus?

Mr Miller is causing crime to happen because if they can’t get their bonuses the only thing they can do to get the money is rob.”

Is this man really serious??? So the people in the private sector who will not be getting a bonus this xmas, should they too also go out there and rob? Mr. Greene please be an advocate for your union members but I beg of you, do not be a jack a$$.

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HolandObserver 9 years, 1 month ago

Why in hell would any former Chairman of BEC EVER agree to approving mandatory annual bonuses for BEC employees, when this corporation has not been profitable from before I was born. Lord, I just pray that they do not sabotage the electricity this xmas holiday. .

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