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ZNS, Bahamasair can’t find money to pay staff

ZNS workers woke up to an email from executive management this morning advising them that due to unforeseen circumstances, payroll for this pay period has been delayed.

The letter from the Human Resources department reads, “Good day colleagues, please be advised that payroll for this pay period (July 15, 2020) will be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. Executive Management apologizes for the delay and any inconvenience that may result.”

The email doesn’t indicate when long-suffering employees of the government’s mouthpiece will be paid.

Insiders tell us the corporation can’t find the money to meet payroll.

It comes as Bahamasair staff complain that they haven’t received overtime pay from the National Flag Carrier since January. They further claim that their insurance has been allowed to lapse and money for their pension and loan payments is being deducted from their salaries but hasn’t made it into the Providence Fund, which is a retirement plan that employees can contribute to or borrow money from.

The pension plan is now owed close to $2 million.

Employees also claim bus transportation for staff has stopped because the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union hasn’t been paid by the airline.

Is this becoming a pattern at state-owned enterprises, which are dogged by bad decisions and poor management?

Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said state-owned enterprises have become an even bigger financial burden on the government during the coronavirus crisis.

“Every year, the government spends over $400 million subsidizing state-owned agencies, many of which are inefficient and uncompetitive. To this end, we have targeted a $100 million annual reduction in subventions over the next four years, as these entities move to optimize efficiency and cost recovery strategies,” Turnquest said during the recent budget debate.

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