FRIDAY, FEB. 3: Government workers have been asked to take an eight per cent pay cut — but an offer to freeze pension contributions for a year means they would still take home the same pay.

And Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert said Premier Paula Cox, also Finance Minister, had said she was prepared to take a pay cut.

Mr Furbert said: “The Premier said she was prepared to look at a cut in her salary — at that point in time, she couldn’t speak on behalf of her Cabinet.”

The deal — which would save Government around $31 million and allow workers to keep the same amount — was put to members of the Bermuda Industrial Union by Premier Cox at a meeting this morning.

The eight per cent normally paid by workers towards their pensions would not be deducted from pay cheques while Government would not have to pay its matching share of pension contributions, either.

The eight per cent cut in pay would last for a year.

BIU chief Chris Furbert said: “We’re going to go back to them and give them a counter-proposal which I’m not at liberty to discuss at the moment.”

Mr Furbert said Government’s proposal deal would apply to all Government workers, including those represented by the white collar Bermuda Public Services Union.

Mr Furbert said his members “seemed pretty much upbeat – they liked the counter-proposal we’re going to take back to the Government”.