Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt May 10 - 2017
Disputes settled for free
Members of the public now have the
option to meet in a neutral space to resolve
This as the Division of Health, Wellness
and Family Development now offers free
The Community Mediation centre locat-
ed at Signal Hill can be viewed as the
alternative to settling many issues amica-
bly out of court.
According to Devika Sammy, Mediator
at the Community Mediation Unit, Division
of Health, Wellness and Family Develop-
ment (DHWFD), "many people look to the
court as the final place to settle issues but
with mediation skills, you could be saved
the hassle and financial burden of the
Sammy shared this information with
all Heads of Departments of the Division
at a mediation training session on May
4, Division's Conference Room, Glen
She said her team educated Heads on
recognising conflicts in the workplace and
understanding the usefulness of conflict
management at work and other social
Sammy said, "Mediation is useful
because it is a less hostile way of mutu-
ally settling a disagreement."
She explained that in mediation, a third
party is engaged to assist two disputing
parties to resolve their dispute and work
towards a mutually agreeable settlement.
She stressed, "When persons go to the
court, the court makes the decision but
with mediation, both disputing parties
make the decision."
And added, "in most times, mediation
is a win-win situation, it is free of charge
and there is no cost to disputing parties."
Sammy explained that managers and
supervisors must possess mediation skills
to deal with issues within the office.
She said, "when there is a conflict, the
mediator must be impartial, an excellent
listener and speak in a non-accusatory
manner." Additionally, she said the phys-
ical setup and space for disputing parties
must be the same e.g. same chair type
and same height etcetera.
The trainer used videos to show
examples of how disputes within the
workplace and other social settings can
be resolved amicably.
The Mediation team also utilised the
expertise of Samuel Lewis, former Medi-
ator at the Community Mediation Unit.
Lewis said "conflicts are good and when
mediated, persons get to let others know
about their grievances."
He added that mediation brings out the
truth and presents the opportunity to forge
new, lasting relationships when the issues
Lewis also noted that "if an issue is
amicably settled but not working for some
reason, persons can return to mediation
to generate a workable, mutually agreeable
He concluded: "Mediation does not
always work though and this is when the
courts may need to get involved...howev-
er, it can work in most civil and family
The Community Mediation Unit resolves
disputes including but not limited to land-
lord/tenants, merchants/consumers, small
claims, threat and harassment problems,
neighbourhood conflicts, family relation-
ship disputes, community disputes and
juvenile conflicts. Persons seeking to access
services at the centre can either walk in
or call the centre.
Heads of Division of Health, Wellness and Family
Development listen attentively to the presentation.
Jack: No more late payment of salaries
Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary
of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack
said the Tobago House of Assembly has
set up a system which will ensure work-
ers are paid on time.
Jack made this disclosure at last week's
post-Executive Council media briefing,
Calder Hall Administrative Complex.
"In our attempt to treat with the chal-
lenges with respect to the payment of
daily rated employees, the ACH, Auto-
matic Clearinghouse System, will be intro-
duced across all Divisions of the Assem-
bly, as we seek to not only treat with
monthly paid and salaried employees, but
to treat with, as well, daily rated employ-
The new accounting measure is expect-
ed to begin in four Divisions---Health,
Wellness and Family Development; Infra-
structure, Quarries and the Environment;
Tourism, Culture and Transportation; and
Food Production and Fisheries.
He said the project was started in these
divisions as they "have a large cadre of
daily rated employees.
He also said the ACH system "will cut
down on the processing time (involved
in) getting the payment of employees to
Secretary of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack.
Devika Sammy, Mediator at the Community
Mediation Unit, Division of Health Wellness
and Family Development, shares
information with the Heads of Department.
Health Division offers mediation services to public...
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