Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2015 Contents A6
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The Public Services Association
(PSA) promised to intensify industrial
action at all of the nation's healthcare
institutions if the Government failed
to pay outstanding salary arrears to
all regional health authority (RHA)
workers by 6 pm yesterday.
Issuing the warning during a mid-
morning protest outside the Ministry
of Health, Park Street, Port-of-Spain,
PSA president Watson Duke said the
association was gearing up for the
action following the week of "dress
rehearsals we have been having."
On Monday, Duke encouraged
employees of the Arima Health Facility
to walk off the job because of health
and safety concerns.
Similarly, employees attached to the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital engaged
in protests on Wednesday during a visit
by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan as
they demanded outstanding arrears be
Addressing reporters and supporters
in the ministry's car park yesterday---
even as a national security helicopter
hovered overhead---Duke stressed,
"Things are not progressing as it
Indicating the health workers' dis-
satisfaction with Khan's performance
as a minister, Duke said, "We are not
happy with him. The nurses are not
happy with him."
He added, "The electorate will judge
him. He didn't elect himself and he is
not working for himself. He is working
for a Prime Minister and if she is happy
with him, then it says a lot about the
Stating he would have fired Khan a
long time ago, had he been in charge,
Duke accused Khan of being good only
for insulting "the Chinese and making
fun of workers looking for pay."
Questioned about his feelings relating
to the small group of people who
protested outside the PSA's head office
at Abercromby Street, on Wednesday,
after Khan called for health sector work-
ers to do their jobs properly, Duke asked,
"Where are they now?"
Claiming that those people had been
paid, Duke urged Khan to stop playing
racist political games as he said everyone
in this country was suffering regardless
of whether they were Chinese, Syrian
Demanding their 14 per cent salary
increase be paid immediately, Duke said
the 15,000 health care workers were
anxious to receive their benefits.
It was only at Thursday's post-cab-
inet news conference that Finance Min-
ister Larry Howai announced that all
unions with which negotiations had
been successfully concluded would
receive increased salaries from Sep-
tember. Howai said the backpay would
be paid by November.
A memo addressed to the ministry's
permanent secretary Simeon Yearwood
and dated August 6, from the Office
of the Chief Personnel Officer, stated
that approval had been granted for
monthly paid employees of the regional
health authorities to be paid revised
salaries and cost of living allowances
(COLA) for the period January 1, 2011,
to December 31, 2013.
The categories of workers included
employees who were transferred or
seconded to the RHA from the public
service or a statutory authority, and
those who were hired by the RHA.
The 14 per cent breakdown has been
approved for four, four and six per cent
for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013,
respectively, while COLA has been listed
at $160, $175 and $225, respectively.
The various workers who will be
receiving improved salaries include
nurse managers, hospital attendants,
registered nurses, enrolled nursing assis-
tants and ward maids.
PSA vows to step
up protests over
For the first time in T&T's his-
tory, a 727 Boeing jet touched
down in Couva yesterday.
Hundreds of enthusiasts lined
the airstrip at the Camden fields,
as the jet landed at 9.16 am. It
was donated by FedEx to be used
for aviation studies.
Now that the hangar is built
and the aircraft has landed, Ter-
tiary Education Minister Fazal
Karim says he plans to officially
open the University of T&T Avi-
ation Institute in the next few
Delivering the feature address,
Karim said for the first time cit-
izens would be able to study aero-
nautical and aviation engineering
free of charge. Instead of spending
thousands of dollars in foreign
universities, Karim said he was
making his dream a reality for
youths interested in pursuing avi-
As a teenager at Presentation
College, Karim said, he wanted
to become a pilot. However, his
father who was a Caroni worker
could not afford to send him to
"pilot school." Karim said as min-
ister he was now opening up
opportunities for youths to get
their pilot licence free of charge
at the UTT Aviation Institute.
Karim said a Bachelor of Sci-
ence degree in Aviation Studies
would be offered at the institute.
Among those welcoming the jet
yesterday were director general of
the Civil Aviation Authority
Ramesh Lutchmedial, Transport
Minister Stephen Cadiz and Junior
Minister of Finance Rudranath
Lutchmedial said, in the initial
stages many believed the airstrip
was too short for the plane to
land. He commended the flight
crew for a job well done, adding
that authorisation would be given
to convert a cabin of the jet into
Cadiz said the opening up of
the Aviation Institute would bring
economic rewards for the people
of T&T. He said as a child, he
spent his Sundays watching planes
take off at the Piarco airport.
Meanwhile, Indarsingh said the
arrival of the jet marked a red-
letter day for the people of T&T.
"I am told this is the largest
hangar in the Caribbean region.
It brings opportunities for local
tourism and could be an alterna-
tive air bridge in the event of a
natural disaster," Indarsingh said.
UTT aviation school
to open soon
Boeing 727 lands in Couva
Spectators look on as the 9Y-UTT Boeing 727 jet lands at the Camden air field, Couva, yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
The Boeing 727 is a mid-
size narrow-body three-
engine jet aircraft built by
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
from the early 1960s to 1984
and carries between 149 and
189 passengers. The aircraft
was intended for short and
medium-distance flights and
can use fairly short runways
at smaller airports.
MORE ABOUT THE JET
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