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Bpsu Still Waiting On Gaming Board Talks

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE threats of legal and industrial action, Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President Kingsley Ferguson yesterday said his organisation is "still waiting" for progressive dialogue with Gaming Board officials about the reinstatement of more than a dozen fired workers.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Ferguson doubled down on the BPSU's demand to have 17 of the 30 employees terminated by the Gaming Board last month reinstated.

"It is on them," he said when contacted for the latest on the union's efforts. "We did our part and we are still waiting on them to come to the table.

"(The BPSU) made attempts to communicate with the Gaming Board, when we went there, we met resistance. A security officer tried to stop us, but we persisted only to be stopped one step short of the chairman.

"With that being the case, we have made recommendations to the Industrial Tribunal and there has been some legal efforts; but despite that, we are still working to meet with and communicate with government and the Gaming Board."

In a separate interview, attorney Wayne Munroe, who is representing several of the terminated employees in legal proceedings, confirmed his office was preparing to pursue action against the Gaming Board.

Mr Munroe said he was hopeful the suits could be filed "this week".

Gaming Board Chairman Kenyatta Gibson last month confirmed some 30 employees were fired after a manpower assessment of the agency.

Mr Gibson said over the past four years, staff at the Gaming Board increased by 40 percent. He also said the board is focused on engaging people with a certain skill set who can properly regulate the gaming sector.

He said all those who were fired were paid "equitable and fair separation packages, with each and every one of their entitlements having been dealt with in a very generous fashion."

Mr Gibson said if any errors in separation payments were made, they would be corrected once brought to officials' attention.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Gibson refused to comment.

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