Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 15th 2015 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 15, 2015
With health workers at the South West
Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) con-
templating sick-out action for the Christmas
holidays, chief executive officer Anil Gosine
is hoping that good sense prevails.
According to staff there, this action could
start as early as this week as nurses at the San
Fernando General Hospital said they have not
received pool and overtime payments since
This, although there were agreements
between the Public Service Association
(PSA) and the SWRHA to have pool
payments be changed to overtime
and all arrears be settled.
Like Public Services Association
president Watson Duke, many nurses at
the SWRHA have been upset by Finance Min-
ister Colm Imbert s statement last Friday that
Government does not have $1.7 billion needed
to settle health workers backpay this Christmas.
One union member said that although health
workers were represented by various unions
who were always at each other s throats, there
seems to be an agreement that they all want
their outstanding money.
In an interview yesterday, SWRHA chief
executive officer Anil Gosine said based on
Imbert s statement, they will have to liaise
with the Ministry of Health and out of those
discussions, meet with their staff and the
"At this point our focus is to speak to them
and hope that good sense prevail. I am hoping
that staff will work along with us. We know
the union will want to get their backpay but
we need to sit down as the RHA and hope
they will be reasonable with us during this
"The backpay will come, not this month,
but there is not doubt that there is a backpay
for the employees and the authority has to
continue to work until the funding becomes
available," Gosine said.
What Imbert said
While speaking on a Government motion
on the Exemption from Import Duties of Cus-
tom in Parliament last Friday, Imbert said that
the account Government uses to pay bills has
a deficit $30 billion.
Therefore, they cannot access money to pay
the $5 billion owed to public servants and
members of the protective services. He outlined
the arrears, saying that $2 billion was owed to
the protective service, $1.7 billion to health
sector workers and a large chunk for Public
Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) workers.
He said he intended to raise money to pay
them through special bond issues, adding that
he had already met with commercial banks to
start the process. He added that Government
was hoping to pay public servants salaries on
Indecision about whether he should hand a
flash grenade he found over to police or keep it
for a fireworks display for his brother s
birthday, cost Anderson Cromastey
San Fernando Second Court magistrate
Siumongal Ramsaran ordered him to pay
the fine or face three years hard labour in jail for
Cromastey, 28, of St James Street, Pepper Village,
San Fernando, pleaded guilty to the charge two
weeks ago before Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-
He was charged by officers of the Organised
Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau.
The charge against him states that around 1.30
pm on March 2, 2010, Cromastey was seated in a
vehicle travelling along the South Trunk Road, La
Romaine. The car was stopped in a roadblock by
police along the same roadway.
Officers searched the car and it s passengers and
the grenade was found in Cromastey s pants pock-
et.He was arrested and the grenade was taken to
the T&T Defence Force for analysis.
Cromastey was represented by attorney Analee
Girwar, who told the court he did not have any
previous convictions in T&T.
She said he had lived in Canada for sometime
before being deported in 2009, for crimes with
Although Ramsaran warned that the penalty for
possession of a grenade was higher than that for
a firearm, he told Girwar her client would be made
to pay a fine instead of being given mandatory jail
In mitigation, Girwar said her client is a con-
struction worker. She said Cromastey found the
grenade the same day he was arrested.
She said at the time, he was contemplating
whether to hand it over to police or to keep it to
use as part of a fireworks display for his brother s
She said the flash grenade is different from a
normal grenade in that the flash grenade only makes
noise and has a bright flash when set off.
She said it does not cause destruction like a reg-
In handing down the sentence, Ramsaran told
Cromastey he was being given three months to pay
the $10,000 fine and warned him not to engage in
any criminal activity to try to get the money.
Ramsaran said the fine was set to send a message
that possession of illegal firearms and explosives
would not be tolerated.
Hospital boss pleads
Man fined $10,000
for flash grenade
Anderson Cromastey after leaving the San Fernando
Magistrates Court yesterday. PHOTO: SHARLENE
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