Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2015 Contents A5
Friday, January 23, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PNM Point Fortin MP Paula
Gopee-Scoon has withdrawn her
nomination to re-contest the seat
because the distance to travel the
constituency was a problem and
she feels constituents should have
an MP who lives in the area.
Gopee-Scoon spoke about her
withdrawal just before PNM
screening started yesterday at the
San Fernando East constituency
She had received the majority of
party group nominations (ten)
among other contenders retired
Brig Edmund Dillon, Kenwyn
Hackshaw, Peter Bharath and
Gopee-Scoon said the decision
was her own and though difficult
was made in everyone s best inter-
Saying distance was the primary
issue she noted that she lives in
Port-of-Spain. She said constituents
saw her once or twice weekly and
she was effective in her represen-
tation in Parliament but felt the
people deserved an MP who lived
in the area.
"I ve developed a bond with Point
and am emotionally attached to the
people as it s made me what I am
so while I hesitated in reaching a
decision, it s in everyone s interest.
"I joined PNM in 2002 and con-
tinues to support the party. I still
feel there s a place for me in politics
but I m not attached to high office,"
Asked if she would take the can-
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is scheduled to leave for
Washington, DC, United States, on
Sunday to attend the first ever
Caribbean Energy Security Summit
hosted by US vice-president Joe
The summit will include remarks by
Biden, an energy security roundtable
with heads of government, and meet-
ings and events with government offi-
cials, representatives from the private
sector and officials from multilateral
institutions, a statement issued by the
White House said.
It said the meeting is a key compo-
nent of the Caribbean Energy Security
Initiative that Biden announced last
June, and will be hosted by the White
House and the State Department in
partnership with the Atlantic Council
and the Council of the Americas.
The statement said Biden looked
forward to welcoming Caribbean lead-
ers and representatives of the inter-
national community to promote a
cleaner and more sustainable energy
future in the Caribbean through
improved energy governance, greater
access to finance, and donor co-ordi-
The Prime Minister s overseas trip
was announced by press secretary
Francis Joseph at yesterday s post-
Cabinet news conference at the Office
of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
Joseph said Persad-Bissessar would
also travel to Costa Rica for the third
summit of the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States
(CELAC) on January 28-29.
The meeting is expected to be
attended by 33 heads of state and gov-
ernments of member countries of the
regional bloc, which was established
in Caracas, Venezuela, almost four
Joseph did not say who will be act-
ing as prime minister during Persad-
Bissessar s absence from the country.
Lecturers from the University
of the West Indies (UWI) and the
auxiliary staff stormed the St
Augustine Campus principal s
office yesterday to demand their
backpay owed to them from their
2011 wage negotiations.
President of the West Indies
Group of University Teachers
(WIGUT) St Augustine Campus Dr
Russell Ramsewak led a group of
lecturers in what he called a "docile
demonstration" to deliver a letter
to the principal, Prof Clement
They have been withholding stu-
dents grades because of the arrears
owed to them. The arrears, for the
period August 1, 2011 to July 31,
2014, were supposed to be paid by
September 3 last year.
The lecturers were expected to
receive the arrears by December 31
last year. However, they were prom-
ised to be paid in two tranches in
March and June.
Ramsewak told the media: "This
is not a firm offer.
"What was given was a condi-
tional offer to possibly pay in March
and June from campus manage-
"Based on the fact that WIGUT
already has a breach of agreement,
both in the Memorandum of Agree-
ment and the Memorandum of
Understanding which indicated a
clear, fixed date for repayment, and
I remind you is December 31."
Ramsewak said the agreement of
the payment of arrears was a con-
ditional offer. It was based on the
condition that the Ministry of Ter-
tiary Education paid the money
owed to UWI for Government
Assistance for Tuition Expenses
WIGUT rejected this offer and
Ramsewak said the membership
agreed to give campus management
one month beyond the date agreed
upon to receive the arrears. If lec-
turers do not receive their $87 mil-
lion by January 30, Ramsewak said
lecturers would take further action
against the university.
"We will do whatever it takes to
get our payment to get what is owed
to academic staff," Ramsewak said.
WIGUT was joined by Oilfields
Workers Trade Union (OWTU)
which represents the Administrative,
Technical and Service (ATS) staff
who are also engaging in wage
UWI s OWTU vice-president,
Sherbert Mckie told the media that
OWTU was there to show solidarity
with the lecturers.
However, some OWTU members
expressed discontent with their
union joining with WIGUT. Some
stated that WIGUT never joined
OWTU with their negotiations and
others stated that since some of the
ATS staff were also students, they
were suffering from the withholding
of grades by the lecturers.
Mckie said they would stand with
WIGUT because they were in the
middle of their negotiations and
the six per cent offer given to the
OWTU members was not accept-
able. Regarding the members of
OWTU who were also staff, Mckie
said they needed money to be stu-
dents so they would join together
to get their fair wages.
The group, which gathered at the
Learning Resource Centre (LRC) on
campus walked over to the princi-
pal s office to demand Sankat and
Professor Hilary Beckles, vice-chan-
cellor-designate, meet them.
When neither campus official
went out to the gate to speak with
the crowd, members of WIGUT
and OWTU found an open entrance
to the principal s office. The Cam-
pus Estate Police tried to bar the
rest of the group from entering by
forming a human barricade but the
group pushed past the guards and
forced themselves into the area
where they demanded that Sankat
meet with them.
Sankat, deputy principal Prof
Rhoda Reddock and the campus
registrar Richard Saunders were
among the campus officials in the
principal s office at the time.
Sankat agreed to meet with
WIGUT to discuss their arrears but
told the OWTU members that the
negotiations were still on going on
UWI lecturers reject
payments by June
'Agreement on wage arrears was conditional'
, l p
$200 ll A
y l $100
ll A , $50
y. y l
p y .
l lly p
Al , ll l
l y l y
REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED
Slam 100.5fm's 5Star Akil performs his 2015 soca song, Noise, during the
third installment of the Eye Slam concert series in the courtyard of Sky View
Lounge, San Fernando, on Wednesday night. : A D A
PM off to US for energy talks on Sunday
Pt Fortin too far so Gopee-Scoon opts out
didate around, she said she supported
whoever was chosen and was sure they
would have a campaign manager and
election strategy which she would sup-
--- with reporting by Yvonne Webb
p , C C l,
C , / l l
pl l .
l z ,
l p .
ly C C l.
l - z
, ly l
y 2012, y
l l l
l y .
y ll .
Links Archive January 22nd 2015 January 24th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page