Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2014 Contents A7
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) and
retired Petrotrin employees met in front of the com-
pany s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery yesterday, calling
on the company to keep its promise and increase
their pension allocations.
OWTU president general Ancel Roget and other
members of the union met with retirees outside of
Petrotrin s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery yesterday to dis-
cuss the pension and medical plans, which the union
says has not been increased since 2007.
"First of all, the people we see here are not workers,
they are retirees who would have served this country
through service at this company, some for 20, 30,
even 35 years," Roget said. "But since 2007, they have
not had adjustments in compliance with the pension
plan and we are saying as a union responsible for
those pension plans arrangements, having negotiated
it, the company went back on the agreement and
denied these workers their adjustments from 2007
until present time."
Roget slammed the management of the state-
owned oil giant, accusing them of arrogance in dealing
with the retirees.
"The company through this height of arrogant
action would have communicated with each and
Nurses who crippled the San Fer-
nando General Hospital during the
yuletide season by staying away from
work will not face any disciplinary
In an interview yesterday, chief
executive officer of the Southwest
Regional Health Authority, Anil
Gosine, said nurses were entitled to
sick leave once they produced a med-
ical certificate to verify their medical
Gosine said he met with the general
manager of nursing Franka Olliviere-
Andrews yesterday to discuss chal-
lenges in the health sector.
"The issue with nurses was not the
only thing we spoke about," Gosine
said, adding, "It is customary during
Christmas time to get a high level of
absenteeism in the nation s hospitals."
Gosine said he also hoped to have
a meeting with nurse manager and
matron Bettyann Pilgrim.
"We have to find solutions because
at Christmas time we get absenteeism
in all classifications of work. We are
looking at giving incentives to encour-
age workers as well as increasing the
complement of staff," Gosine added.
He said over the next weekend, the
SWRHA hoped to pull additional staff
from its complement of full-time
"We have a pool of nurses who work
full time and if we have to, we will
bring them out to work. With respect
to sick leave, we cannot disprove it.
We have to accept it. The majority
of our nurses are hard working and
we hope to motivate the others to do
the same," Gosine said.
Meanwhile medical director Dr
Anand Chatoorgoon said operations
at the hospital returned to normal
yesterday as most of the nursing staff,
except for two nurses, turned up for
He also said he did not know if any
disciplinary action will be taken.
"I have no jurisdiction over nurses
and I have no authority over them. I
cannot force or compel them to work.
I can only appeal to them and beg
them to turn up for work when they
are rostered for work," Chatoorgoon
He added that when rostered nurses
fail to show the hospital goes into a
He said that Christmas weekend
"It was very rough for the patients
especially because they are the ones
who run the wards. We cannot give
quality care if there are no nurses,"
He said it was important to motivate
nurses so they can contribute towards
giving the best healthcare possible to
No disciplinary action
for Sando nurses
every retiree, telling them they would not be able to
get that adjustment. How disrespectful is that, to
the people who would have contributed so much to
the development of this country?"
He warned government the union would use all
steps open to them if the company fails to respond.
"In the face of what has happened here this morn-
ing we are going to write the company again for an
urgent meeting and failing that, well we have a number
of steps open to us," Roget said.
Close to 50 retirees attended the meeting despite
the incessant rain, singing and chanting "We want
we money, we want we pension, before they buss
Roget: Give Petrotrin
pensioners their dues
President General of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union, Ancel Roget, speaks with Petrotrin retirees during
protest actions at Pointe-a-Pierre roundabout yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
However, Petrotrin issued a release yesterday
denying the pensioners were owed any
adjustments. In the release, the company said the
pension plan is operated by a trustee with oversight
by a management committee, comprising Petrotrin
personnel and representatives of the OWTU.
According to the oil company: "An Agreement
between Petrotrin and the OWTU provided for, inter
alia, an increase on pension payments related to the
Retail Prices Index (RPI) capped at four per cent per
annum. This has been retroactively applied since
October 1, 2002."
However, the company said the increases are
subject to special criteria, including:
• These improvements will not require Petrotrin
to increase its contributions to any of these pension
• Petrotrin will not be required to make any cash
injection to meet any of the cash requirements
arriving from improvements to the pension plans;
• The increase in pensions will not jeopardise the
viability of the pension plans;
• All costs related to the improvement and
integration of the plans are to be borne by the
surpluses in the plan.
An actuarial valuation is conducted every three
years. The actuary then advises on the plan's ability
to pay an increase in pension. In keeping with the
agreements, payments are usually due one year
after the period of evaluation.
Petrotrin, accepting the actuary's
recommendations, paid pension increases on three
previous occasions with effect from October 1,
2002, October 1, 2005 and October 1, 2008.
Petrotrin, in the interest of securing the viability
of the pension plan, has again accepted the
recommendations of the actuary and advised that
no increases in pension could be granted for the
period October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2010.
OIL COMPANY: ACTUARY'S ADVICE
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