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Union Fury At Gaming Dismissals

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

NEARLY one dozen employees at the Gaming Board were terminated on Monday, according to Bahamas Public Service Union President Kingsley Ferguson, who told The Tribune he believes the firings were both “personal and political”.

The terminations come weeks after Press Secretary Anthony Newbold confirmed 18 people were “let go” from the Gaming Board in early November.

Mr Ferguson said the Gaming Board is blatantly disregarding the Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) and breaching its industrial agreement. He said when he discovered people were being let go on Monday, he went to the Gaming Board only to be told the terminations will continue “if the board feels like” doing so.

“They told me that the board will continue to fire people if they feel like it and when I asked to speak to the chairman I was told he was unavailable,” Mr Ferguson claimed.

“We don’t have an accurate count but we were told between 10 to 12 persons were let go. We are currently seeking a meeting with the chairman however he has been unreachable, even before this incident. I do not want to say too much about this because it may end up in court but we are concerned about how the persons are being selected.”

W”e were told that the exercise was only supposed to include persons who just went in right before the election or the persons nearing retirement but that is not what happened.”

Mr Ferguson said the union was not consulted when the terminations began and the bargaining agent is working to ensure this practice does not continue.

“They breached the industrial agreement and when we asked about the firings we were told they were conducting a manpower analysis. Our agreement said that any exercise that would impact positions or security of employment should be done in consultation with the union, that is clear in our agreement,” he said.

“We are doing some stuff, just wait and see.”

The Tribune attempted to contact Gaming Board Chairman Kenyatta Gibson but calls were not returned up to press time.

On Monday, Mr Ferguson said he is “seriously concerned” about the number of people being let go from the public sector, adding the “union is not being consulted” about the lay offs.

He told The Tribune he learned of most of the previous terminations over the past few months through the press and he is concerned some might be political.

His comments came days after 30 people were sent home from the Department of Inland Revenue after their contracts ended. In a statement on Friday, Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson said the department “has determined not to renew the contracts of 30 employees whose contracts have come to an end.”

The Minnis administration has taken a conservative approach to public sector hiring and has not shied away from letting workers go since the May 10 general election.

Since that time, more than 100 people have been let go for various reasons, according to The Tribune’s reports.

Comments

Socrates 1 week, 5 days ago

there are always folks who dont want to leave the premises when the party ends.. if they live in the real world, they must have figured the sweetness could not last forever.. you can't get what the man doesn't have...

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sealice 1 week, 5 days ago

Does this man realize that the only people that care about unions in this country and the union leaders - the employees are forced and coerced into these when they get the jobs. If the gubmint did better we could get rid of these unions that tax the paycheques and souls of Bahamians everywhere...

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sealice 1 week, 5 days ago

Only a PLP die hard that was hired as a favor (ferguson ain't got no real skills either) would make the assumption that all the firings are Political! If these were political then the FNM would have done it right after the election.... just like the PLP always does.

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realfreethinker 1 week, 5 days ago

Who cares what the union thinks or how it feels. We have to right the sinking ship.Hopefully those days of just padding the public payroll is over. I hope they find real jobs

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OMG 1 week, 5 days ago

This country is mired in debt, and one contributing factor is the bloated wage bill for persons hired (for political reasons like the last election). The FNM has to balance the books and people have to be needed and wiling to put out. Nobody as hard as it is entitled to a job and countless departments from education to social services to other depts. are overstaffed and persons have noting to do. I cannot calculate the number of times I have had business to do in a government office only to be told "he/she has just stepped out". The books need to be balanced otherwise todays economy will look like paradise compared to the future. And talking about unemployment there is plenty of work but you may have to lower your financial expectations, expect to get your hands dirty and work hard. Every Saturday I go past a corner in central Eleuthera where there are 15 to 20 Hatiens with their tools and lunch bags setting off to work. Why no Bahamians?????

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BMW 1 week, 4 days ago

No Bahamians because they dont want to work, they want a "guvment job" where they dont work but collect pay!

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yari 1 week, 4 days ago

'We don’t have an accurate count but we were told between 10 to 12 persons were let go.' How damn hard is it to get an accurate count? If it sounds like bullshit it most probably is. I am pretty sure he wasn't told people would be fired if the board feels like it. This trouble maker needs to make way for a real trade unionist who will fight for his membership with facts and the law instead of his attempts to sway the public with unverifiable stories.

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happyfly 1 week, 4 days ago

I met a nice young lady recently who said she worked at Bahamasair. When I asked what it was she actually did at Bahamasair...........she didn't know :?

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sealice 1 week, 4 days ago

she was assigned with 85 other people per plane to come to work and look busy, just like your average BTC, BPL, WSC, ...gubmint worker...

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