Tempers were flaring in the lead up to a planned emergency meeting at BIU headquarters tonight, called for Bermuda’s bus operators, who say they voted against the 10 percent pay cut proposed by government.

Reports reaching Bermuda Real today indicate that the workers are up in arms, after they reportedly received their most recent pay cheque for services rendered – only to find the 10 percent cut they voted against was taken out of their pay anyway.

Sources also say the Operations Manager responsible for the Department of Public Transportation’s payroll, was inundated with queries by bus operators last week regarding the salary cut they voted against.

One worker told Bermuda Real: “What’s the point of having union representation with no real representation!

“We voted against the pay cut and they took it anyway, when we said they could take superannuation and pension – but don’t cut our salaries!”

Another bus operator said: “They have money to pay minibus operators but they can’t pay us our money, when they know we don’t have enough buses to run school buses with social distancing as a result of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, a minibus operator said they were offered half of what the Government paid the last time we picked up the slack for the school runs.”

Asked what was the result of that request, he said: “We turned it down.”

Now it looks like a wait and see process as we await the outcome of tonight’s emergency meeting, which is scheduled to get underway at 7:30pm.

A notice was sent out notifying members of the tonight’s meeting by the union’s Executive Team that said: “Your Executive Team hear you.

“Many members have come to use to vent and share their frustrations about the rate of pay and/or doing summer work for the year amongst other concerns. We have called for an emergency meeting on Monday, August 17th at 7:30 pm.

“The General President will be in attendance. Members are urged to come out and voice their concerns or even just to seek clarification.”

That notice also urged members not to attack the union’s executive: “Please members don’t attack the Executive Team, we are here to work for you, not against you.

“Like we have mentioned previously at meetings, whatever we do let’s have unity. Let’s run this race together, not against each other.

“Signed: Your Executive Team.

“United We Stand – Divided We Fall.”

Another reminder was sent out again this afternoon for unionised members to attend the emergency meeting at BIU headquarters.

That notice pointed out a two-point agenda on:

  1. Rate of pay
  2. Work to Rule

When asked what the ‘Work to Rule’ was all about, one of our many sources said: “I don’t know what that’s about, but I can tell you what – we are not standing for this ignorance because we all know the union’s executive are getting their full pay off of our membership!”

How all of this will play out at tonight’s meeting – time will tell. And rest assured – we’ll keep you posted!