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NIB managers holding govt hostage over bonuses

Managers of the National Insurance Board (NIB) are plotting to use up all of their sick days for the second straight week in an attempt to pressure the new government into paying them undeserved bonuses.

NIB managers, who are entitled to three sick days without a medical certificate, called in sick last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then took an emergency day on Friday.

They plan to stage another three-day sickout this week, impacting pensioners, the unemployed, injured workers and new mothers who rely on benefit payments.

The move is viewed as unconscionable.

After the former Free National Movement (FNM) government refused to approve this request, managers tried to pull one over on the new Davis Administration as it seeks to stay in voters’ good graces.

However, the government has argued that the bonus request is unreasonable as NIB is already underfunded, the bonuses are not based on productivity and the funds would be far better spent on Bahamians who have fallen on hard times due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government has been advised not to cave in to the union’s bullying tactics, which are holding some of the country’s most vulnerable groups hostage.

Further, executive management argues that managers do not deserve bonuses as the payments would not be tied to their performance level.

The Public Managers Union (PMU) has been agitating for the government to sign off on a new industrial agreement after the old one expired in 2019.

The board approved the terms outlined in the new industrial agreement with the exception of “two items”. The request for bonuses is said to be one of them.

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