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Wsc Executive Chairman: Woods ‘Hasn’T Done A Day’S Work For Us In Years’

WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson.

WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union president Dwayne Woods “has not performed a day’s work” for the Water and Sewerage Corporation in years, according to its executive chairman, who said the man stills gets paid approximately $60,000 a year despite being on “administrative leave”.

WSC executive chairman Adrian Gibson said “unlike any other union president in The Bahamas”, Mr Woods draws an annual salary of some $60,000, accrues vacation time and sick leave, the latter of which adds up and rolls over, and “enjoys all the benefits” without ever coming to work.

That, Mr Gibson said, is notwithstanding the $2,000 or so Mr Woods “pays himself” as the union’s president, and the other “perks” he enjoys such as the union paying for his cellphone, airfare “whenever and wherever he travels”, and allegedly gasoline for his vehicles.

Mr Gibson said Mr Woods has also requested yearly increments and additional benefits, promotions and/or upward mobility, despite not having a job description and therefore being “unable to have his performance evaluated in the absence of any WSC job-related performance/activities”.

The Long Island MP said due to the “simply unjust and unfair” practice of Mr Woods being paid $60,000 plus perks without performing any work for WSC, the corporation decided as of last year May not to renew his administrative leave, and to order Mr Woods back to work.

Mr Woods, in turn, has filed a Supreme Court action against the corporation, the crux of which, according to Mr Gibson, is that he feels he should not return to work and continue being paid by WSC.

However, Mr Gibson said the corporation has instructed its attorneys to seek to strike out the BUSAWU’s writ of summons as the matters stated therein are personal to Mr Woods and consequently, the union has no capacity to bring that action before the courts.

The revelations were made during a press conference at WSC headquarters in which Mr Gibson responded to Mr Woods’ statements on Friday concerning, amongst other things, WSC’s alleged denial of his administrative leave and the free usage of office space for union meetings.

At the time, Mr Woods further announced that line staff at the corporation are eyeing a strike vote, charging that “all we have to do is withdraw our enthusiasm and it’ll take care of itself.”

Yesterday, Mr Gibson conceded that WSC did in fact refuse to renew Mr Woods’ administrative leave with pay, but said it did so in light of the “realities on the ground” and the fact that “no other union leader enjoyed such a free-ride on the taxpayers.”

As an illustration, Mr Gibson noted that the president of the Water and Sewerage Management Union (WSMU), Ednel Rolle, who is also Mr Woods’ supervising manager, reports to work daily. The same is true for Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard as well as the president of the Bahamas Electrical Managerial Union (BEMU).

Additionally, Mr Gibson noted that the president of BTC’s non-management union is on administrative leave without pay from BTC. He noted that the administrative leave in question is not a facet of the union’s industrial agreement, nor an automatic right afforded to the president of the union. Rather, it is something that, based on years of practice, has been requested annually by the union’s president, and is something WSC’s board has the discretion to either cancel or renew.

Mr Gibson said to date, Mr Woods “remains off the job” and has not reported for duty, but said the union president came onto WSC’s Thompson Boulevard compound last week “seeking to incite the employees to move a strike vote in support of him.”

However, Mr Gibson said if Mr Woods really felt so strongly about not wanting to work, he could retain his administrative leave, just “not at any cost to the Bahamian taxpayers.” Or, Mr Gibson said, the union could instead foot the bill.

“WSC would suspend all salary, vacation and sick leave accrual given that he would be on leave,” Mr Gibson said. “And, the union can continue to pay his salary and whatever other expenses accrue as a result of his leadership duties.”

Mr Gibson added: “Mr Woods—much like Paul Maynard and other utility union leaders—would not be impeded in his duties. He would just be working for the high salary he earns.”

Concerning the issue of a strike vote, Mr Gibson said WSC’s management is “unaware of any willingness of staff to strike,” adding employees have indicated to management that they cannot, in “good conscience” support “such an action given the fact that they too must attend to work daily.”

He added: “WSC does not intend to impede Woods in performing his union duties. However, our view is that Woods returns to the job. I encourage the maintaining of an open-door policy here at WSC. If Mr Woods truly wishes to be conciliatory, he should follow Article 25 which fully sets out the agreed upon grievance procedure. With this, and nearly every other small union matter, he has been documented over the years—even before our appointment—as skipping critical stages in the process.

“...Rather than resolving issues, Mr Woods ought not (to) blow them up. His conduct is not conducive to fostering harmony and a satisfactory environment, which is a necessary facet of his relationship with WSC.”

Mr Gibson also refuted Mr Woods’ previous claims that there has been “little to no communication” from WSC’s management on a proposed voluntary separation (VSEP) exercise in the absence of a new industrial agreement.

Mr Gibson referred to a letter Mr Woods wrote to former WSC General Manager Glen Laville dated December 12, 2018 in which Mr Woods referenced some 15 persons interested in taking early retirement packages.

“So Mr Woods is being duplicitous when he says, or when he comes as if he doesn’t know about the voluntary separation packages when he himself has been requesting them,” Mr Gibson said.

He added: “No one is forcing anyone out the door. If no employees decide to accept the voluntary separation packages, what can we do? But we know that several employees have asked us for the same.”

Comments

joeblow 1 week ago

There are many on the job who haven't done a days work in years too!

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Sickened 1 week ago

I think I missed the very beginning of this whole story. Why does a union leader get administrative leave? Why exactly does any corporation pay anything to any union leader? Corporations are supposed to pay staff members. Those staff members then pay a portion of their salary to a union (if they want one) and that union pays whomever they want, whatever they want.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

SLOP, Ingraham, Christie and now Minnis have each engaged in attaching many leeches to the Public Treasury, government corporations and government controlled special purpose vehicles. These leeches remain attached for decades, from one government to another, whether PLP or FNM, sucking the life blood out of the country. Whenever more blood is needed for the sucking, honest and hard working taxpayers are hit with more government taxes and fees, to the point where many businesses are now simply closing their doors. LMAO

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

If every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to have their petty union .......... then pay dues and pay their Union executives ......... Why should the Boss pay the Union man to make fracas in the workplace????????? ................................ Old Proverb says - Can't feed Frog for Snake

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DDK 1 week ago

Unbelievable! How many more of these sick, thieving situations exist within The Bahamas Government's agencies, corporations, departments and civil servants? I wonder how we place on the global corruption list?

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bogart 1 week ago

DA....DA....DA....UNION HEAD.....WSC.....employee.....NOT BEEN WORKING.......an getting a Salary........from the Salary Payroll.Staff Department.....??...is there a STAFF DESCRIPTION.....??.....ANNUAL....STAFF APPRAISAL......??.....WHAT DO DERE STAFF HUMAN RESOURCES DEPT .....SHOW.....??.....WHO IN STAFF DEPARTMENT SHOW ARRANGE STAFF VACATION....??..WHO BEEN DIS APPROVAL......???... ALL FROM DA TOP ECHELON.....BIG CHIEF...?...IS DERE ONE ODDER STAFF FILLING IN DER STAFF VACAMCY doing the staff vacancy....???............ERRY PERSON NEEDS TO BE FIRED IN DIS FRAUDULENT FACILITATION....COHOOTS....turning off customers sacrificing to pay water bills...paying taxes...subventions from all population...to pay dese salaries for dese cohoots goosieing da PORE..taxpayers.....!!!!.....bring back the former chiefs an sue dem..no statute da limitations....to get back pore taxpayers money....!!!!...for all dese illuminations dis time dat MP Adrian Gibson be given won National Award....!!!

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

Woods has senior managers covering for him ......... its right there in the story.

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

What is Woods job description at WSC???? ....... What is his professional qualifications?????? ........ What did he do before 2011 and what does he do NOW to earn that salary?????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week ago

Your asking all of the wrong questions. Instead ask: Who is he related to and who are the politically-connected muck-a-mucks who have been providing him with cover and protection for many years in exchange for his misdeeds and undying loyalty?

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

My God ......... University trained teachers and nurses make $20,000 + a year ......... How do these people who barely finish high school make this kind of money in these corporations?????? ......... Bahamian Life is a bitch!!!!!!

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TalRussell 1 week ago

Yes, or no compared one man's not showing up days work in years, how can 'dead people' ever have been expected report work?
Wasn't the WSC executive comrade chairman Adrian, not appointed by PM Minnis, who it has been established had in fact appointed thirty 'dead people; to political patronising government boards. Yes, no, there is no making 'dead people' appoints up!

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sheeprunner12 1 week ago

Retired police constables can be re-hired and make $50,000 a year ......... SMH

Then there are the 1000 PEP consultants ........... No wonder our Government is broke as shit

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DWW 1 week ago

How dare they stop paying someone for not showing up to work. The sheer audacity of the notion! Someone needs to get fired or not re elected.

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hrysippus 1 week ago

Sixty thousand per year on administrative leave, . . . . .. And has not worked for years, if Gibson we believe, . . . . But he's a tru tru Bahamian, born and bred, . . . . .. .. So said and so done, as Pindling once said, . . . . … Entitled to gubmint job, earning that good gubmint pay, . . . …. But you don't actually have to show up for work each day. . . … But come election time you must know how to vote, . . . … Fish or cutting bait on that PLP's party boat. . . . . … And so now here we are nine billion in debt, . . . . . But as long as we have VAT the cabinet don't fret, . . …. Twelve percent right now but soon it will be twenty, . . … So workers for the government can enjoy their rest and plenty. . . …

I want a job like Dwayne Woods, who I got to vote for?

.

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TalRussell 1 week ago

Yes, or no - hasn't comrade UBP member Marsh Harbour red MP, not been marked absent out House more days than he were present conduct peoples matters. Yes, no did he not sill collect all he MP's paycheques for days present and absent.....
And, since other red MP been busybody overseeing work history others - likewise - shouldn't he produce all he own work and House attendance records - including overseas traveling time off Colony of Out Islands, including the actual number out 642 days since May 10. 2017, spent with constituents on Out Island of Long Island?

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BMW 6 days, 22 hours ago

7 years of not showing up and getting paid. W.T.F. Get rid of the leech plain and simple and make him pay the money he has stolen back.

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Socrates 5 days, 23 hours ago

One of many reasons why VAT is temporarily at 12%. We can thank all the incompetent administrations, of which we have had an abundance in the history of this country, for allowing this sorry and sad state of affairs. this should be criminal.

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