Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2015 Contents A10
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Scores of single mothers, impoverished fathers
and young people are now on the breadline as the
Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) says it can no
longer continue their contracts.
Chairman of the corporation Leo Doodnath says
since the reading of the 2015/16 national budget,
they have been starved of funds, with just enough
allocated to them to pay regular workers.
Contract workers responsible for maintenance of
beach facilities and public conveniences gathered
at the entrance of the corporation s High Street,
Siparia office, calling on Doodnath to say when
their jobs would resume.
They said work stopped after last September s
general election and only resumed in December.
However, they said work stopped again at the begin-
ning of the month, with them being told that the
corporation had no funds.
"I ve been working as a beach cleaner for the
past few years on contract and this is the only
source of income I know. I have a daughter who
is going secondary school, doing A Levels and how
am I to send her to school now?" Quinam beach
attendant Pearl Rampersad said. Rampersad said
she had been a single mother for the past few years
after her common-law husband died. She said this
was the only work she had been doing for the past
Ishmael Hanif said they needed jobs to feed their
families and send their children to school. He said
since the change of government, he could not get
work. After meeting the workers, Doodnath told
reporters the problems were real and with the work-
ers out of jobs, beach facilities and public conven-
iences were becoming unusable.
He said garbage collectors were also threatening
to withhold their services as they were yet to be
paid for December s work.
He said the monthly figure for garbage
collection was almost $1 million per month.
Contracts for security and janitorial services
have also been cut while no road repairs
and construction projects can take place.
"They have been out of jobs for two
months now and this is a direct result of
no monetary releases from the Government
since the budget was read. For the month
of December, the Siparia Regional Corpo-
ration received funding from Government,
only to pay our regular daily rated work-
"We received no funding whatsoever for
anything else, be it diesel for our vehicles,
rent of our buildings, even electricity, tele-
phone, office supplies and material. We
could not even buy oil sand or gravel
because we had money for nothing except
to pay our regular daily rated workers.
"We had no choice. Those people we
employed to look after our beaches. We
employ some 60 to 70 people. We have
not received funding to continue the
employment of these people," Doodnath
said. He said the corporation made several
calls to the local government and finance
ministries for updates on their allocations
but got no responses. He said in speaking
to officials from the Penal/Debe, Chaguanas
and Couva/Talparo/ Tabaquite regional
corporations, he learned that they also had
the same problems.
Several calls were made to Local Gov-
ernment and Rural Development Minister
Franklin Khan but there was no answer.
Siparia Regional Corporation cash strapped...
Beach workers on contract sent home
Contract worker Harripersad Ramphal seeks
answers from chairman of Siparia Regional
Corporation Leo Doodnath, left, over outstanding
wages and the lack of work during protest action
on Thursday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly
(THA) Orville London will donate five per cent of
his salary to the Mason Hall Police Youth Club in
recognition of the current economic challenges
Late last month, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
said that he and all Government Ministers would
give five per cent of their ministerial income to char-
itable organisations. The chief secretary said members
of the assembly had agreed to do the same.
"We are also making a similar commitment," Lon-
don said during the weekly post-Executive Council
media briefing at the Calder Hall Administrative
He said: "We have a commitment from the various
members of the Assembly that they too will be (giv-
ing) similar percentages of their remuneration pack-
ages to organisations, not necessarily charitable
organisations, and groups, and deserving causes,
based on their evaluation of the situation."
However, "because of the size of Tobago, we will
not be making a commitment to a single organisation
and it doesn t necessarily have to be a charitable
The Chief Secretary will start his contribution
with a focus on Tobago s youth. Aside from the
Mason Hall Police Youth Club, he will make donations
to the Calder Hall Football Club in February, and
the Mason Hall Football Club in March.
"Every three months I will indicate the organi-
sations to which I will give a donation," London
agree to five per cent
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