BVI News

Premier denies role in COVID Port cuts; says over $480K saved

The BVIPA’s cargo facility in Port Purcell, Tortola.

While declaring nearly half a million dollars in savings from cutting the working hours of staff at the Ports last year, Premier Andrew Fahie is assuring the public he was never consulted about the move.

Citing financial difficulties, the state-owned BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) had cut the regular working hours of its hourly staff in May 2020, just around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the time, the schedule of hourly-paid employees had been reduced to 30 work hours per week; down from the regular 40 hours.

While noting the cuts were aimed at reducing “financial strain” caused largely by the pandemic, Premier Fahie told the House of Assembly the savings amounted to $488,063.50.

Annual compensation for executives, directors and managers at the Ports, he added, amounted to nearly $1.5 million. 

According to the Premier, while none of the permanent, salaried executives was affected by the cuts, a similar reduction in their hours would have only gained the BVIPA $267,082.48 in savings.

Bad investments?

Among other factors, Fahie blamed the previous NDP administration’s financial handling of the Ports and their 2014 investment of more than $20M into the Pier Park development project for the financial hardship the BVIPA is currently experiencing.

“If the cash resources [prior to this government] were still available to the Authority, there would be no need to have reduced hours of employees or to increase Port fees at this time,” said Premier Fahie who is also the Minister of Finance with responsibility for Ports.

Fahie emphatically denied that he or his Cabinet had been consulted ahead of the decision to cut the working hours of the Port staff, adding that he was only told afterwards. 

The Premier further told the House he strongly encouraged the BVIPA the savings should come from elsewhere; insisting that he did not throw the Ports under the proverbial bus in asking that they reverse their decision.

The Authority previously cut the work hours and pay of its staff following the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Maria back in 2017.

The employees have reportedly since resumed full working hours.

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20 Comments

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  1. Stewww says:

    This Andrew Fahie like to blame NDP for his foolishness
    Don’t get me wrong NDP is no different
    This man trying to thieving as much as he can before he get vote out
    This island need young politician’s

    Like 35
  2. Jah says:

    COI issue

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  3. CORRECT ME/EXPLAIN says:

    GOOD MORNING TO EVERY ONE AND ENJOY THE REST OF THE DAY. ISN’T THE PREMIER THE ONE IN CHARGE OF THE FINANCIAL PORTFOLIO? HOW WAS HE NOT CONSULTED ABOUT THE MOVE.

    Like 36
  4. the watcher says:

    stunning incompetence in action!! If it was a bad move he knows nothing about it….but if it saves money is’nt he great!

    Like 46
  5. heckler says:

    Bottom line…Andrew and his administration got to go…Too many lies and blunders

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  6. Bull$hit says:

    During that $20M investment by Ports into the Pier Park was under the NDP but was your now consultant CSC the Director at the time? Geeeez you cannot make this $hit up!!! These representatives really take us the voting public for fools……Get the F outta here!!!

    Like 29
  7. Me says:

    According to the Premier, while none of the permanent, salaried executives was affected by the cuts, a similar reduction in their hours would have only gained the BVIPA $267,082.48 in savings.

    BVILOVE

    Like 13
    • WELL SA!!! says:

      I know when he said that their pay wasn’t affected I know that is a lie according to the Murry show. A lot of the employees had to give up their apartments, no stimulus, bills to pay, people in deep debt because of this situation and now to have the heart to say that they were not affected??!!!!!!! that hurts deep

  8. What!!!! says:

    Sorry cant believe a word this man says he is MINISTER of FINANCE

    Like 24
  9. Play on player says:

    Guess he doesn’t know about BVIAA also

    Like 16
  10. Fahie Boy says:

    Since people at the Port doing their own thing, then somebody needs to be fired.

    Last time i checked, the GOvt is the sole shareholder. Since the owner of the business dont know what is going on. Some heads need to roll.

    Like 17
  11. @ bullshit says:

    These guys and are very slick / and the holy one csc seems to be everywhere and now his false prophet relative prince charming the *** seems to be following very closely ( its overdrive time )

  12. Amazing says:

    Fahie emphatically denied that he or his Cabinet had been consulted ahead of the decision to cut the working hours of the Port staff, adding that he was only told afterwards.

    What a leader!!!!!

  13. Tola says:

    They need pay the staff back them money cause they didn’t get stimulus. It hurt to see who get cut the one in hot sun. Pay the staff who get cut pay. Cleaners, security, ambassador, dockmaster, dispatcher, operations and cashier. Them behind ac all day minding people business needed to get cut and lazy managers.

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