New Day as PHA Signs Industrial Agreement with the BPSU

PHA Chairman Mr Andrew Edwards, Managing Director, PHA, Aubynette Rolle. Health Minister Hon. Michael Darville and BPSU President Kimsley Ferguson.

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) signed an Industrial Agreement with the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) at the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday, January 23, 2023.

The Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said the government is pleased that the staff represented by the BPSU will now have some of the opportunities to reap some of the benefits that were long outstanding.

“This is all part of an agenda from the Ministry of Health and the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to address some of these longstanding issues that we need to correct going forward to improve morale at all of the public healthcare facilities to ensure workers are protected and they get what they truly deserve.”

The Health Minister added, “I am happy to say that in short order I understand that Mr. Ferguson will be in negotiations with the public service to finalize all of the necessary outstanding conditions so that we can sign an additional industrial agreement so workers can be compensated across the board.”

Managing Director, PHA, Aubynette Rolle explained that the Industrial Agreement shall be in effect from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025 and is valued at approximately $10 million.

She said employees represented by the BPSU will be pleased to note that this agreement encompasses a series of incremental salary increases over three years: one in the first year, two in the second year and another in the final.

Ms. Rolle also noted that in addition to these increases, the agreement also includes but is not limited to the following benefits:

• Increases to the project pay which now increases to $20 an hour;
• The expansion of categories of staff eligible to receive monthly hazard allowance;
• The rental allowance increased by $50 per month across the country;
• The subsistence allowance increased so individuals who are travelling and whose stay is 28 days or longer will receive $1,500 per month;
• The expansion of compassionate leave to include in-laws.
• Progressive expansion of adoption leave of six months for new parents adopting children under the age of one and
• The development of mental support programs for all staff.
The Managing Director said the agreement also makes provisions for education and training as well as provides new uniforms each year for employees.
BPSU President, Kingsley Ferguson said no one gets everything they want in an agreement, but the Union is satisfied and believes it is something that can build on going forward.

“One of the features we were really pleased to accomplish is the additional compensation for the hazard allowance, and futuristically arriving at a health insurance which will even be more beneficial for those people whom we represent,” Mr. Ferguson said.