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Gibson 'Endangering My Life And My Family's'

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Dwayne Woods

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union President Dwayne Woods has accused Adrian Gibson of endangering his life after the Water and Sewerage executive chairman made public a confidential term of the union chief’s employment.

Last week, Mr Gibson said Mr Woods has not performed a day's work for the corporation in years, adding he was paid approximately $60,000 each year despite being on administrative leave.

The statement sparked Mr Woods’ anger yesterday as he told The Tribune Mr Gibson was severely “disingenuous”.

Mr Woods insisted the existing industrial agreement facilitates "union leave" to carry out the people's business.

According to clause 14.01 in the agreement "an employee elected to a permanent union office which requires union leave maybe granted such leave as the corporation determines for a period not exceeding 36 months subject to the demands of the service and the availability of a suitable replacement, and shall continue to be covered by the corporation's medical and pension plans."

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WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson.

Mr Woods said: "First and foremost, I would like to say that I was of the view that my salary was confidential information and I would like to acknowledge the fact that in breaching this confidentiality agreement of the corporation I am baffled or surprised that the chairman would do such a thing,” Mr Woods said.

“I would like to make it abundantly clear that he is probably only doing it to endanger my life and the life of my family. It is disingenuous for the chairman to make such a statement and nothing could be further from the truth.

“What is actually happening is the chairman is playing brilliant politics.

“What he is doing is actually putting up a smoke screen and mirror by saying that I don’t work and haven’t performed a day work for the Water and Sewerage Corporation in years.”

Regarding his administrative leave for the past seven years, Mr Woods said he was completely within the confines of the standing industrial agreement, having been elected three times to the post of union president.

“The reality of the matter is that he is attempting to roll back the very benefits that are contained in the industrial agreement between the Bahamas Utility Services and Allied Workers Union and the Water and Sewerage Corporation under article number 14.01.

“That particular article gives rise to a leave called union leave which is a benefit unto the people I represent. It speaks to an employee being elected to permanent office for a period of three years or 36 months subject to the demands of service and a suitable replacement. That it would continue with all the benefits that an employee would enjoy.

“That particular clause gives rise to me being off to do the work of the people, to the people, for the people, by the people.”

According to Mr Woods, the leave has been practised for several years.

“The benefit has been in practise for 11 to 13 years. The past president enjoyed two terms and myself, I have enjoyed two terms and I’m in the middle of a third. It makes it clear that the benefit can only be reversed by mutual agreement and the chairman cannot roll it away unilaterally because there is a contract in place which governs it.

“This raises the question why would the executive chairman attempt to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game a year and a half after the union had sent a letter to them requesting a renewal of the benefit?

“The renewal is not an approval but a mere courtesy to outline to the board of directors that an election was held and the now president has retained his position as president. Had I lost the election another president would be writing to inform the corporation of the courtesy that I have gone back to work and a new president is coming in to enjoy my leave.

“I would conclude by saying that the only way I am allowed to give up the leave and go back to work is if a new president unseats me and the new president will retain the comfort of the leave.

He further raised questions regarding Mr Gibson’s appointment at the corporation.

“I’d like to raise the question who does the chairman represent? He represents the government. What is his salary as executive chairman? What is his salary as an MP and how much hours does he put in as an executive board member? And how much hours does he put in at the corporation?”

Last Sunday Mr Gibson said the industrial agreement did not make provisions for Mr Woods’ leave.

The WSC executive chairman said at the time “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 at the time that 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.

Comments

DDK 1 year ago

What a load of self-entitled, shameless bull! Odd that he feel the knowledge of his free-loading antics at the expense of The People and his union's civil servants would upset anyone enough to threaten his well-being.

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yeahyasee 1 year ago

7 years @ 60K??????

“The benefit has been in practise for 11 to 13 years. The past president enjoyed two terms and myself, I have enjoyed two terms and I’m in the middle of a third. It makes it clear that the benefit can only be reversed by mutual agreement and the chairman cannot roll it away unilaterally because there is a contract in place which governs it.

Fellas living...these ppl "enjoying" alot at taxpayers expense this can't be real LOL

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realfreethinker 1 year ago

And on top of that he is paid as a full time union president making probably just as much

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licks2 1 year ago

No. . .his union is different than the others. . .their jobs are full time positions at the union offices. . .given leave by government as long as they are presidents. . .but his position demands that he stays at the cooperation and paid. . .the union gives him $2000 or so every month. . .this brings him up to the pay scales of other union presidents. . .OTHER UNIONS PRESIDENTS ARE ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVES. . .HE IS STILL WORKING AT THE COOPERATION!!! He is simply told that he must come to work as every other employee. . .OR AMEND THE AGREEMENT TO ALLOW HIS UNION TO PAY HIS FULL SALARY AND TAKE THE TIME OFF FROM THE COOPERATION!!

That union has the highest paid union president in this nation!!! Other unions presidents makes around $70, 000 with their times off. . .he makes $80,000 with his time on!! Government just saying to him that he can't get paid by them and stay home too!! This information was given to me by a union shop official from the office of the biggest union in this nation!

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realfreethinker 1 year ago

These fucking clowns really have to stop this bullshit. You een work for years and think you are entitled to be paid? The average Bahamian miss one day of work and ain't in the hospital is cut a days pay. This shit has to stop in this country. Every time the gov tries to clean up the stench they run to the press.

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TalRussell 1 year ago

Yes, or no - the comrade union leader's logic is hard follow but fair say he has has put whole new spin on work requirement issues - might be needing some kinds union members urgent intervention.
The forever absent from work union comrade leader - sure hell seems have developed 'home schooled' skills beyond the art of not even having show up not actually have work on government job. Yes, no you couldn't make this comrade man's spin work obligations he employer PeoplesPublicPurse up?

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bogart 1 year ago

Mr. Woods....missing the issue....erry person is not endangered himself an his family..!!!!.....aint has to do wid he shoes...he clothes...he life...whichinin ever...he walk upside ..Da legal point is has to go wid he doing he Job Description an getting satisfactory Job Staff Appraisal....an an an.....who Approved it if contrary to rules ???....who else on the Corporation...??? Who authorised ???....somebody(ies) has to be charge of his job...!!!

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BMW 1 year ago

Get rid of this leech. FFS only in the Bahamas.

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Gotoutintime 1 year ago

Most Bahamians love to get paid for not working but this Dude is carrying it to an extreme!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year ago

Dwayne Woods could not care less about Adrian Gibson, WSC, the employees of WSC and the Bahamian people. But he has no fear of losing his cushy $60,000 per annum job plus benefits for doing nothing because he knows he can count on being protected by Minnis's lack of gonads in the same way that he has been protected by previous ball-less PMs. LMAO

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sheeprunner12 1 year ago

Get it right .......... Woods makes 6 figures each year for doing nothing.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year ago

You're probably right if you count what he's being paid from union dues too. As a lazy politically connected "all for me" sloth, Woods certainly has been unjustifiably raking it in for many years. ROWL

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Greentea 1 year ago

Mr. Woods’ arrangement is ridiculous and sanctioned by governments- probably the PLP but one can’t be sure. Gibson is playing politics and it’s dirty and effective in this climate but it also asks for transparency in government pay. And Woods asks a question whose answer I would like to know as well. How much is Gibson making as Chairman and how much time is he putting into the job? Let all government salaries and perks be posted!

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licks2 1 year ago

They are posted. . .government has a salary book that is easily accessed at the PSC!!

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pingmydling 1 year ago

Woods is worried about his safety. HMP Foxhill would probably be safe enough for him.

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Naughtydread 1 year ago

This clown ass nigga can't be serious. WAKE UP YOU ENTITLED TWAT, PEOPLE ACTUALLY WORK FOR THEIR PAY IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

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Socrates 1 year ago

Why did the incompetent gov't negotiators ever agree to this? obviously, they were directed from higher up. if you can spare an employee for 3 years and during that absence they are doing nothing to benefit future of the organization, clearly you are overstaffed and management should be instructed to either make staff redundant or lay them off. again another example, in case we needed one, of the useless governments we have had in this Bahamas for so long.

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realitycheck242 1 year ago

Agreements like this for the time off for the president were negotiated by PLP boards while they were in power to sway the union president (no matter who it is ) to convince the workers who they lead to vote PLP. ..Like they say "Hand go Hand come"

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licks2 1 year ago

Them same clown hip governments we had for the last 30 years. . .I am checking to see if BPL has the same deal too. . .I got some information that they are on the same type of agreement. . .their union officials are at work every day it seems!! I will check that out further!!

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licks2 1 year ago

Them same clown hip governments we had for the last 30 years. . .I am checking to see if BPL has the same deal too. . .I got some information that they are on the same type of agreement. . .their union officials are at work every day it seems!! I will check that out further!!

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stillwaters 1 year ago

I look at his photo, and the first word into my head was........well-fed.

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sheeprunner12 1 year ago

And old ...... needs to go home now.

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