Transport Minister Discusses Bus Drivers’ Industrial Action

While the Minister of Transport the Honorable Lawrence Scott, JP, MP, fully understands the feelings of frustration felt by members of the public in regards to the recent industrial actions taken by the Bermuda Industrial Union’s (BIU’s) bus division, he urges the public to keep in mind that the Department of Public Transportation have met and honored all of their obligations in this situation, as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“ The Ministry was supposed to provide a schedule and we did so within the allotted time frame,” Minister Scott said. “ As far as the Ministry is concerned, [this new schedule] allows for low redundancy, greater flexibility of work times and time off, but also provides a more reliable bus service for the country.”

According to him, if the Department of Public Transport had been using the same schedule that they did in previous decades under previous administrations, the public would be expecting between 30 and 50 cancellations daily. He believes that the new schedule created by the department allows them to work within their parameters and resources and has no cancellations.

Despite the current impasse between the Ministry of Transport and the BIU at this time, bus privatization is not on the table for the Ministry of Transport at this time says Minister Scott.

“ We need to ensure that everyone can get around the island regardless of how much they make,” no Minister Scott said. “ When you privatize [the service] and run it for profit, that means that the cost can only go up.”

The Minister refuses to put the blame in this situation on any one individual or organization. Rather, he said, the current dispute is the result of two organizations looking out for the best interests of their respective members.
“ We had deliberations today, and [both organizations] ended at an impasse,” he said.

“ If we end at another impasse tomorrow, we will refer to the Minister of Labor. “ Once the Minister of Labor addresses the labor dispute, all industrial action must cease until a final decision has been made through arbitration.”
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