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Ports Authority workers taking pay cut since hurricanes

Photo Credit: BVIPA

Employees at the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) are on reduced pay.

Roughly 50 of 180-member staff have been on reduced pay since the hurricanes last year.

Acting head of the state-owned organisation, Akeem Pickering said the BVIPA initiated pay-cuts to avoid laying off any of its workers as it grapples with financial difficulties.

“We have had our own financial challenges even prior to the storm. The hurricane has just exponentially increased what we are going through … We have a decreased cruise ship schedule where we are not having the season that we expected to have, that we budgeted to have; so even with the decrease in our cruise season, we are not receiving the amount of money that we would need,” Pickering explained.

“With that, it would have been financially prudent to make the move that we made so that we can ensure that everyone is receiving something, and not put ourselves in a position where at one point we don’t have money to pay anybody,” Pickering explained.

Reduced hours

He told BVI News that affected staff members now work reduced hours and are therefore paid hourly as opposed to their usual fixed salary.

Pickering did not specify when workers will be put back on full salary but said the BVIPA Board of Directors will reinstate regular salaries whenever management at the Ports Authority makes the recommendation.

He said during the BVIPA’s last management meeting, members discussed the possibility of reinstating regular salaries.

“Management raised the concern within themselves and as soon as it would be possible, we would make the recommendation to the board so that they could be reinstated.”

In the meantime, Ports Authority workers said it has been challenging to ‘make ends meet’ with a reduced pay.

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34 Comments

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  1. Mr slate says:

    What were these Authorities doing with monies before the storms. Nothing in reserve? Nothing for rainy days like this?
    And the big heads in charge were they not finding new ways to make more money?

  2. Cuckoo says:

    Makes sense why everything was so backed up in the ports now and left out in the weather to get ruined.
    At a time when they should of been doing extra hours the man in charge cuts back hours.

  3. VG Massive says:

    That’s Bu$$ $ hi . Should of never happened

  4. Concerned says:

    Just like the entire BVI. Trying to depend on cruise ship business (or at least blame that). The Port if run by a businessman, not an appointed flunky of the Government. Would be organized, have good pay, have good moral and be able to handle what is coming in. AND it should be paying for itself. The bad comes out when the going gets rough (Irma).

    • @Concerned says:

      Well said………..

    • Fact says:

      The PA board like many others in the BVI are run by a bunch of self-s——- l——–s who get high on p—r and don’t give a d—– about the country. Don’t blame the management, blame the board. Connect the dots and it’s crystal clear where the issues are in this place but we love to play stupid around here that’s the problem.

  5. hmmm says:

    well lokkk Fork and trailer. Only now them people working and only now them. You see abuse and nasty behavior

  6. Sticky fingers says:

    No wonder some of them were accused stealing the people stuff…unfortunately only a few were implicated,the rest of them are free to help themselves now

  7. Luvz says:

    Wow! This is a sad state of affairs. Did I just read right? Is this the result of poor planning, poor management, wasted funds? My gosh!

    I really do hope that this situation improves real fast.

  8. Youngin says:

    What has been happening to the monies collected over the years?? Hmmmm smh!! Sad.

  9. Driver says:

    Pay cuts ? Does these cuts start from the top down ? Wharfage is still being collected ; so are we going to cut Customs Officers pay too ? Customs is practically collecting nothing . PORTS is full o sh*t ; pay cut.my arse .Who js responsible for ALL the spoilage at the Port? Its gotta be who is in charge No ? Why is it when we ( blk ppl) get in position rather than pulling others up , we try to PUSH others down ? Some one needs to be held responsible

  10. Hugh Hefner says:

    Where did the monies go you ask? Well take a cursory glance around and see for yourself! Big rides, bigger homes, fancy garments along with exclusive holidays. But wait there’s more! Remember the former-former PA Director has publicaly state that he has over 90 summtin’ percent more info to spill. Like someone said – p!$$ poor planning, performance and managers. Oh and the Pier Park fiasco is also a drain financially – go figure!?!?

  11. Insight says:

    The BVIPA is a statatory board of government under the portfolio of communications and works therefore ran by we all know who mark vantetpool. We all know what happened to the monies that the port had saved for that rainy day, some went to the pier park with its $30mil overrun with no completion and the rest went into well known pockets. The port is now stuck with a huge bill to the banks which should be coming out the ministers pocket as we still have no value for all that amount of money spent. Thanks NDP for the [email protected](%ry that hard working men and women have to go through. Lets hope the next time an employee gets in trouble for stealing anything it would be for couple of supermarket containers of food … Just my take

    • devon says:

      Probably how people bought their $5 million house in the Bahamas!

    • upfullness says:

      There are hundreds of goods been imported to the port after September 2017. I will like to know if that can’t help keep staff a full pay plus departure tax is up since February. Ships are down but we have weekly visits.

  12. Albion says:

    I suspect part of the problem is that port fees are still set at unrealistically low levels and have been for decades.

    When I last cleared something out of ports, I had to go to five separate people (Five! Try and be more efficient people…) and the total amount they charged me for clearing in my stuff and holding it was $14.

    No wonder they can’t pay salaries even though they are super busy. They need to be more efficient about staffing, and charge slightly more realistic fees.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Just did the same. Port fees for the consignee are essentially the wharfage charge of 1% plus any storage charges they can make. They also charge the ships port fees of course. Seems to me that with record numbers of cargo ships and record imports post Irma they should be doing better than normal. But certainly a lot of people behind the desks doing little.

  13. Avalon says:

    Yeah Albion, part of the problem but hang on before Irma they just came out of the biggest cruise ship season ever, post Irma more shipping gone through the port in six months than in the two years plus before that, something wrong!

  14. Worker says:

    @ Avalon. Great news Yes more ships in six months BUT where is the money ? That whole Pier Park thing had\ has so many spins in it ; when ppl start to get lock up who dont go crazy with fright will drop down cause theynknow them going jail ttoo. say YOU WILL HEAR

  15. Pay Cut? says:

    They cutting salaries but also hiring new people? What is really going on in this place?

  16. Saddened from afar says:

    Why only 50 and not all 180 members? If there is a financial crisis why shouldn’t all share in the cut back? Decision making/makers can be so unfair at times….

  17. Sam the man says:

    The Pier park is a massive White elephant – ghost town when I visited in July it was absolutely deserted just a few school kids running about, I mean for such a massive investment you’d have expected better planning but hey the “No Direction Party” keep living up to their name! No crisis erupted ships now until 2019 at the earliest if we’re lucky ! Even St Martin got their act together quicker than we did so I’d be surprised if they ever even return….

  18. Haha says:

    That explain why partner and the 2 women put their hands in the cookie jar. If you ain’t get it one way you gon get it another.

  19. Tell me says:

    So pier park employees salary cut tooo? Or just purcell.

  20. The Teacher.... says:

    What are the qualifications of the Managers at the Ports?

  21. cruise pier says:

    Is a set of greedy people is the head of the board and trust me the managers pay didn’t get cut though. Good thing i left when i did, i have no regrets.

  22. Severance Pay says:

    I hope Port Authority give the employees thrir severance pay.

  23. What?! says:

    So after all this, who voting for NDP next election?

  24. String says:

    1cl—d is partly to blame port had some 40 something million on accounts before ppl went on a spending spree.Also follow the house marble drive way glass steps that light up when walk on.also school children say follow the house horse path board member.Concerning pay cut that was only for three months now gone beyondand managers and supervisors pay not cut and remain on salary.

  25. Phoenix says:

    REALLY??? Our merchants, contractors and homeowners have been freaking out for 4 months because it takes 3-5 weeks to get goods cleared and we CANT BUILD BVI STRONG and our government was doing this crap? They don’t get it- none of them have any idea what life is like on the ground, rebuilding. AARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGH

    They have to go, every man-jack. Time for our cream to rise.

  26. Phoenix says:

    REALLY??? Our merchants, contractors and homeowners have been frantic for 4 months because it takes 3-5 weeks to get goods cleared and we CANT BUILD BVI STRONG and our government was doing this crap? They don’t get it- none of them have any idea what life is like on the ground, rebuilding. They did not hear us.

    They have to go, every man-jack. Time for our cream to rise.

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