Citing financial difficulties, the state-owned BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has cut the regular working hours of its staff.
This is according to a memorandum dated May 13 that was addressed and issued to ‘managers and staff’ of the BVIPA.
The document — a copy of which was shared with our news centre — stated that as of May 4, 2020, the schedule of hourly-paid employees has been reduced to 30 work hours per week; down from the regular 40 hours.
The memorandum pointed to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the cause of the cut.
It said: “As you are no doubt aware, the recent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive curfew measures has placed a significant strain on our source of revenue/income.”
“As a result, it has become necessary for BVI Ports Authority to temporarily reduce its hours of our daily paid employees,” BVIPA management further said in the document.
The memorandum did not give any indication when workers would return to regular work hours and pay.
Up till publication time, BVI News has been unsuccessful in obtaining a comment from the BVIPA’s Acting Deputy Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard, whose signature was affixed as the author of the memorandum.
Reports of a cut in staff work hours come days after the BVIPA announced that their cargo facility operations across the British Virgin Islands had returned to regular pre-curfew hours, while the ferry ports regular schedule had been tweaked to align with the government-imposed curfew order.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time the BVIPA has reduced the work hours of its staff during or after a disaster of some kind. The Authority had cut the work hours and pay of its staff following the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Maria back in 2017.
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