Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy *File photo
Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy *File photo

The Minister of Home Affairs, Sen. the Hon. Michael Fahy, JP, has this evening confirmed that a resolution has been reached regarding the ongoing labour disputes affecting the Department of Marine and Ports Services and the Department of Parks.

Minister Fahy said, "It has been agreed that with the impasse now settled, all employees will return to work tomorrow following which the Government will lift the injunction against the essential services and the arbitration proceedings that commenced as regards non-essential services will come to an end.

"As part of the resolution, it was agreed that the Government's Department of Internal Audit will provide a review and assessment of the Department of Marine and Ports Services and the Department of Parks. The findings of Internal Audit will be shared with the Cabinet Secretary who will share any recommendations with the BIU.  This process should go a long way to identify a number of issues that have been outstanding for many years which the Government is keen to resolve."

The Minister continued, "Today's resolution was a result of discussions with the Ministry of Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, representatives from the Department of Workforce Development and representatives from the Bermuda Industrial Union.  I stress that employees who decided to walk off the job last week to engage in irregular and unlawful industrial action will not be paid for the hours of work they missed."

He concluded, "We are grateful that the parties have come to an agreement so that services can return back to normal.  As I've said previously, there are ways to resolve disputes and irregular industrial actions benefit no one, least of all the public.

"I want to once again thank my technical officers for doing their due diligence to get the parties together, and we are pleased that no further legal action was necessary to bring about a solution to these matters. I again urge any party that has a grievance to follow the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreements and the statutory processes to resolve disputes. 

"I also want to reinforce the fact that such matters must be dealt with by the respective Permanent Secretaries so as to ensure Ministers remain out of staffing issues."