BEC Salary Scheme Disconnected

Tuesday 12th, March 2013 / 08:55 Published by

BEC logoWorkers hired on a contractual basis to disconnect and reconnect accounts have been earning as much as $95,000 a year, Leslie Miller, The Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s (BEC) executive chairman said .

“When I took over as chairman I said that I wanted to see all the contracts that BEC has on the table,” Mr Miller said.

“I was getting at a situation where BEC had hired some contractual workers to reconnect and disconnect. Regular guys who just need a car. They train you for one week and you go on the road.

“Ten persons were hired on contractual arrangements, even though BEC had their own crew. I asked to see what we were paying those guys. It was $10 to disconnect, $5 to reconnect, and $10 to pick up a cheque.”

Mr Miller added: “Eventually I got the figures on what we were paying these guys. We pay $300 for the training. One guy for the first week averaged $1,900. Another guy averaged $1,500, another $1,600 and another $1,800. Some of the guys got smart and said they wanted to go out east and west, where they have a a lot of apartments.

“The next month, same crew, the guys averaged $2,195, $2,300, $2,595, $2,700, $2,600 and this is one week. The following week it was $2,750, $2,850, $2000, $2,200. The yearly figures are $95,000 for one, $86,000 for another, $73,000 for another guy, $66,000 for another another, and for another it was $67,000.

“That is giving you some idea as to why our bills are the way it is. How could a guy, who is cutting off your light, make $96,000 a year? The total for the 10 of them was $704,595.50.”

Mr. Miller said that he implemented a new system which subsequently allowed BEC to hire 22 unemployed persons full-time.

In The Tribune article Mr. Miller was further quoted: “Management didn’t even know what the figure was. I called them in and told them we will have a new scheme. Those who turn off 40 lights a day for five days will get $400, those who turn off 50 lights a day for five days get $500, and those who turn off 60 lights a day for five days get $600.

“So far, over the six-month period, BEC has saved $255,820.”

Source: The Tribune

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2 Comments on “BEC Salary Scheme Disconnected

  • No one was replaced, in total now it is 22 people including the original 10. They are now still contract workers, some whom were contract for over 2 years. The period of their first installed contract agreement was for a year. Also, they are not internal but external contract workers. Meaning, they pay their own NIB; and have no ties to BEC. Of course, a contract worker working longer than a year is automatically regularized, according to the labor laws for government corporations; but it seems some illegal tendencies and acts are allowed to bypass. It’s perhaps considered slave labor for little to nothing as they must undergo all staff regulations and rules.

    It is also noted that these workers were promised an actual job after the first year, otherwise they would not have indulged the idea of the newly installed contract. Indeed the purpose of these contract workers being hired in the first place was to lessen the stress and buildup of work, from the time they were hired they saved the corporation a great deal of money, including boosting the revenue over an additional $5 million. The pay for these workers was subtracted from the customers disconnection fee’s which was $20 – $25, or $100 if bucket trucked. Therefore, with simple math it is evident that the actual money was never used to pay any contract worker, only the service fee. They used their own vehicles gas, etc., to drive consistently for hours in Nassau, not including the miscellaneous expenses such as servicing.

    Lastly, these workers were given only 20 – 35 work orders daily, most of which are accounts with no directions nor contact information. Daily, if 15 – 20 action accounts would be accounted, on average their pay would be less than 200 dollars a day. As an external contract worker, they already have no benefits whatsoever, not even NIB coverage. Yet there are workers who now work a full rigorous week and are only paid $200 – $300 without allowance. Allowance, from what I am told is only $16 dollars daily, amounting too $80 per week for gas. 5 days per week 8 a.m to 5 p.m, including Saturdays if requested… this, without service coverage is an extreme stretch.

    Facts are facts, to pick out bits out of the story doesn’t make it “The Story”.

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