Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 20th 2015 Contents Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 20, 2015
General secretary of the National Trade Union
Centre (Natuc) Michael Annisette says the money
allocated by the Government for capacity build-
ing in the labour movement will be used for
training and skills enhancement among union
officials and members.
In an interview yesterday, Annisette said
while the details of the allocation for Natuc
had not been worked out, its affiliates were
identifying needs of the different unions.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced
the allocation of $15 million to be shared
between Natuc and the Joint Trade Union
Movement (JTUM) during the budget
2016 presentation on October 7.
The following day, Natuc members
met to discuss the announcement and
decided to accept the allocation.
JTUM members met the following
week and told Imbert they could not
accept the money until a number of
labour issues were addressed.
Yesterday, Annisette said Natuc had
written to the Finance Minister to request a meet-
ing to discuss the details.
"We are going to use the money to ensure we
have an educated leadership and educated officers
and workforce," he said.
He said that would redound to the best interest
"We are looking at several programmes that
targets the issues of leadership, understanding
business, economics and finance.
"We want to ensure that there is a level-playing
field so when a union representative meets with
corporate leaders they can be on the same level,"
He said Natuc had chosen to be pragmatic and
use a common sense approach to workers issues.
"Knowledge is the equaliser and the more
knowledge workers and union officers have will
be to the benefit of citizens of T&T.
"We are looking at educating our members on
fundamental issues," he added.
Annisette said the money was going to Natuc
and Natuc would get its affiliates involved.
"We have asked unions to send their needs.
We will do a comprehensive analysis and will
ensure programmes to reflect those needs," he
Natuc thanked the Government for what it
called a forward-thinking gesture which Natuc
saw as a clear indication that the Government
was aware of the limitations and resources of the
trade union movement.
He said it also indicated that Government was
ready and willing to work hand-in-hand with
labour to advance the betterment and enlight-
enment of the working class of T&T.
In a release early yesterday, Annisette also said
Natuc was very much aware of its responsibility
to provide its members with up-to-date training
in all areas of industrial relations and trade union
practices and policies.
"This grant will greatly assist us with the work
we want to accomplish, particularly as it pertains
to the enhancement of the skills of our shop
stewards and branch officers.
"We believe that the development of human
resource in any country is critical and fundamental
if the society is to move forward.
"Further, we are of the view that an educated
workforce engenders an educated nation working
towards an equitable society," he noted.
The Law Association has appointed a
committee to produce proposals for a new
system for the State s hiring of private
In a press release yesterday, the associ-
ation s president, Reginald Armour, SC,
explained that the organisation took the
decision after it commenced talks on the
controversial issue in July.
It comes days after Attorney General Faris
Al-Rawi in his budget presentation raised
questions of the Government s spending on
legal fees over the past five years, which allegedly
totaled almost $1 billion for the Government
ministries and other State agencies.
The committee will be chaired by Armour
and will receive advice from former Chief Justice
and Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) president
Michael de la Bastide.
While Armour acknowledged that private attor-
neys needed to be retained in cases where their
expertise was required, he noted that the committee
would consider if additional training of State attor-
neys may reduce the need.
"At the same time, there must be a commitment
to capacity building, including training, proper terms
and conditions and remuneration for those in-house
State attorneys. This includes avenues for exposure of
State attorneys to career enhancement and growth,"
He also said the committee would seek to discuss
new methods to ensure that the State received value for
money from its employment of private practitioners.
"Applicable and appropriate principles of transparency,
fairness, value for money and accountability must be
built into an objective selection process so as to be
auditable and reviewable," Armour said.
The findings and advice of the committee are expected
to be presented to the association s membership for
approval before further consultations with the Judiciary
and Attorney General.
Natuc to use
Govt $$ for
team to look at
Govt hiring of
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yes-
terday said the Government was attempting to bull-
doze the Standing Finance Committee by proceeding
apace with its deliberations and not allowing Oppo-
sition MPs to have their legitimate questions
Persad-Bissessar said that during a news conference
on a tea break. The Standing Finance Committee had
to complete its deliberations before 8 pm last night.
"There has been a bulldozing of the process," Per-
sad-Bissessar said. Persad-Bissessar said while the
Opposition set the list of heads to be questioned in
the process the Opposition did not set the time for
She recalled that when the new arrangement was
established last year under the PP Government the
committee met from early in the morning. She noted
that under the PNM the meeting was starting at 1.30
pm. "They have not set sufficient time for it. The
other side is very insulting, very offensive," she added.
Persad-Bissessar said many questions asked by the
Opposition were not being answered and the Gov-
ernment was only promising to submit the answers
in writing. See Page A6
Links Archive October 19th 2015 October 21st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page