WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15: White collar workers tonight backed a proposal to cut civil service salaries by eight per cent – but only if all the other unions do the same.

One Bermuda Public Service Union (BPSU) member said: “The message is, we all have to stick together. The meeting agreed to let the union negotiate the eight per cent cut but it must involve all the unions.

“The other sentiment was that we have to save jobs. It’s not about politics, it’s about jobs. We’ll still be in a hole next year, no matter who the government is.”

The move came after a stormy two-and-a-half-hour meeting of BPSU members in Hamilton, attended by more than 1,500 members.

BPSU general secretary Edward Ball declined to comment on the members' views.

But he said: “There was very open and frank discussion on Government’s proposal.

“As a result of that, there were counter-proposals presented which will presented to the Government.”

Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox has asked Government employees to take an eight per cent pay cut for a year, offset by a freeze on employee pension contributions, meaning take-home pay would be unaffected.

Government would also take a break from its part of pension contributions, saving it around $31 million over the 12 month period.