5PM UPDATE:  Acting Editor Jeremy Deacon said: “There never has been any attempt to induce a hostile and devisive environment with the BPSU. Indeed this paper has gone on record in its editorials that it supports unions and the work they do. We will report on what the SAGE Commission recommends, but that does not mean we advocate any particular course of action.”

He added: “Through editorials we may from time to time make suggestions, but our role is primarily to inform the public of the ways this, or any other, Government is working to cut costs and create jobs.  We are ourselves acutely aware of the effects of the recession and would be delighted to help Government if they asked us.

“As to the concerns that we are not conducting investigative reporting to flush out wasteful Government spending, we have done and will continue to hold Governments to account. If the BPSU has any concrete examples of this we would be very happy to investigate. We have no fear and give no favour, regardless of which political party is in power.

“In the past, we have often highlighted hardships suffered by families in Bermuda, but we also strive to highlight the positive issues in our community as well. If Mr Ball thinks we lack consistency in our reporting I would ask him to give me the details. If he knows of hardships being suffered, similarly, I would ask him to supply us with details.

“Lastly, it is in our interests that the economy recovers. The overwhelming number of people employed at The Royal Gazette are Bermudians or spouses of Bermudians. To suggest that we put the ruination of the reputation and  careers of Bermudians first, is illogical and absurd.”





The President of the BPSU Kevin Grant apologised to his membership for the stress that was imposed on them by the Royal Gazette's {RG} Saturday June 22, 2013 story By Line: Civil Service may need to shrink, says BPSU Boss. The mandate of the BPSU Executive Committee has always and continues to be job retention.

 

Historically, and since the election of President Grant in March 2011, the Union has been steadfast in campaigning for job security of all Bermudian workers. There are many members who have a family member that is unemployed or under-employed and further job losses will impose further hardship on families and Bermuda as a whole. As a result the Union has vehemently opposed the reduction of jobs within the economy.

Recognizing that RG's By Lines sell newspapers, the daily's Saturday story appears to attempt to induce a hostile and divisive environment within the membership of the Union, while at the same time advocating for the pending SAGE Commission's recommendation to reduce the size of the Civil Service (which may be premature expectations by the daily and others).

The BPSU has categorically and continually stated that an economy full of unemployed citizens cannot flourish as confirmed by numerous austerity measures, globally, that have not helped the economic recovery of those countries.

It is also our view that the RG is not publishing enough interest stories, or conducting investigative reporting to flush out wasteful Government spending or suggesting ways to create jobs. Rarely have we read where the paper has suggested ways to increase government revenues such as collecting $22 millions of uncollected taxes as stated by the Ministry of Finance.

In addition, the RG paper lacks consistency in reporting on the hardship of unemployed Bermudian workers or campaigns on their behalf for benefits such as unemployment insurance.

We are also mindful of the bleak job prospects of young Bermudians returning to the island after graduating from overseas universities/colleges; all hoping to be employed so that they can utilize the years of study in obtaining their degrees. {Note that summer jobs for all Bermudian students are extremely scarce.}

The 2012/2013 Government and expenditure forecasted a budget of $38 million to be spent on hiring consultants. Maybe the RG needs to concentrate and research the rumor that the Premier's Office has allegedly hired a consultant to write his press releases for $200,000.

Mr. Editor it is time that the Royal Gazette assist in Bermuda's economic recovery and prosperity rather than ruining the reputation and careers of Bermudians.

25 June 2013