NASSAU|Managers at the National Insurance Board (NIB) engaged in a sick out on Wednesday to protest their stalled industrial negotiations.
The Public Managers Union (PMU) has the support of NIB’s line staff who agreed to call in sick as well to show support for managers at the organization.
Staff are livid that executive management can find the money to hire political appointees and pay them big salaries but is unwilling to negotiate in good faith with the managerial union.
In May, Minister of Public Services Brensil Rolle defended NIB’s hiring of the wife of Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.
Rolle told the Tribune there was nothing untoward about the process which led to the hiring of Tamika Thompson to a senior role at the National Insurance Board in Grand Bahama.
He also confirmed that the assistant manager position she now holds was not advertised publicly.
In 2019, NIB staff held a number of demonstrations over stalled negotiations for a new industrial agreement.
The union has also raised concerns over nepotism at NIB.
“We offer courses for those interested in becoming officers and it can be taken by internal staff or people trying to be hired at the corporation,” one union member said.
“You sign a document saying if you are internal staff and you fail the course, you return to your position in the corporation, but if you are not an employee already, you are not hired.”
Employees claim that a relative of an NIB official took the course and failed but was hired anyway.
“This is nepotism. Those are the prominent ones. There were many more who failed the course and yet HR hired them,” the NIB worker claimed.