Letters to the Editor

Prison officers fought the good fight

  • Court battle: corrections officers after their legal victory over health insurance contributions (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dear Sir,

This letter is in response to two articles published by The Royal Gazette: “Court victory for prison officers” and a subsequent update, “Prison officers win insurance battle”.

First, congratulations to the Prison Officers Association.

A hard-fought legal battle, followed by the press release by the POA that demonstrates transparency, openness and respect for the rule of law.

Whereas the POA had to fight tooth and nail to maintain the same health plan that it has always had over the past 50 years, a doctor and former premier was given the first and foremost consideration and financial settlement by the Progressive Labour Party once it was swept into power.

This very ill-advised decision to insist that prison officers pay half their healthcare premiums when their duties, like police officers and fire service officers, impact upon their health in extremely disproportionate ways would never be an acceptable new contractual agreement for the officers. They fought an honourable battle.

Yet Cabinet ministers such as Lovitta Foggo (labour), Kim Wilson (health), Kathy-Ann Simmons (legal affairs) and Wayne Caines (national security) didn’t see this outcome on the horizons?

More profoundly, why would a labour government dictate “by bullying, harassment and the abuse of power by force arbitration”?

Transparently, if this government isn’t working for labour, then who is it really working for?

Please go back and double-check this PLP government’s first priority, then scrutinise whose interests have taken priority since.

Enough said. Let’s not attempt to defend the indefensible of this government’s actions.

Happy new decade, Bermuda.

VALIRIE MARCIA AKINSTALL

London, England