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.
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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