Bermuda’s prison officers have opted out of taking industrial action at this point, but what that means for the protracted talks with the Bermuda Government for a new wage agreement remains to be seen.
This after members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) held a general membership meeting yesterday to discuss their next course of action now that they’re entering a tenth year without a new wage agreement. Only this time around there is the issue of the Government health insurance scheme that fully pays for insurance coverage for prison officers and police.
That coupled with the fact that 184 prison officers are working on a 24-hour schedule that requires at least 243 officers for the schedule to actually work efficiently, without the high cost associated with the overtime paid out monthly by the Department of Corrections.
Bermuda Real also disclosed that prison officers were more than displeased going into that meeting yesterday, knowing that another group of Government workers were granted a second pay scale adjustment, while they have yet to receive a single raise once during the past ten years.
When contacted by Bermuda Real last night, Mr Seon stated that the outcome of the POA’s meeting was relayed to Government’s negotiating team with amended demands.
Asked when the POA will go back to the negotiating table with Government, the POA chairman said that decision likes with their membership.
Meantime, the POA’s lead negotiator Thad Hollis in an exclusive interview aired live on Tuesday, stated that the negotiations and subsequent agreements that ensued over the past 20 years have resulted in little, if any progress.
Efforts to get a response or a comment on the Government team’s side of the story on where things stand remain up in the air – we’ll keep you posted.