Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 25th 2013 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, November 25, 2013
The public is hereby
notified that hopper
barge vessel named
LMCS 4 is now
renamed to R2.
6.1000 6.2782 6.4665
5.6748 5.9735 6.3020
9.6633 10.1719 10.7212
8.0644 8.4888 8.9557
****** 0.0621 0.0658
2.1167 2.3008 2.4619
* 2.5742 ****** 3.2792
for NOVEMBER 22nd 2013
The question of who will head one
of the largest unions in the country
will be known by the end of today, as
members vote to select the 13 positions
in the Public Service Association
Seven candidates are set to vie for
the post of president, among them
incumbent Watson Duke and former
acting general secretary under Duke,
Approximately 17,000 public servants
are expected to vote in today s elections.
Six parties---Team Sentinel, Team Lib-
erators, Team Phoenix, Game Changers,
Team Defenders and Rebuilders---are
set to contest the positions of president,
first vice-president, second vice-pres-
ident, general secretary, deputy general
secretary, treasurer, five industrial rela-
tions officers and two trustees.
The other presidential candidates are
Terrence Regis (Team Phoenix), Ray-
mond Butler (Team Defenders), Christo-
pher Wilson (Rebuilders) and independ-
ent candidate Riki Cedeno.
The union has faced several issues,
among them its financial status, the
five per cent pay increase in 2011 nego-
tiated by Duke, and a splintered union.
Duke moved in April this year to sus-
pend Callender and former treasurer
Jillian Bedeau-Callender. However, the
Callenders were allowed to stay.
Callender earlier charged financial
impropriety, saying approximately $2.5
million of the union s funds were unac-
counted for and that a report had been
made to the Fraud Squad.
There has been much debate sur-
rounding the finances of the union.
In a T&T Guardian article on October
7, the union s first vice-president,
Rosanna Robertson, claimed the union
had only $1 million in its account and
that in 2009 the union had $7 million,
adding many legal fees for Duke were
paid out of the union s finances.
The article quoted Robertson as say-
ing,"The union is in serious financial
difficulty. We have to wait until we get
dues in to keep this union afloat. There
are a lot of creditors who did work who
have not been paid and there are some
lawyers who we are still owing monies."
In another T&T Guardian exclusive,
the union was said to be owing the State
$14 million for a 2006 land lease at the
former PSA Grounds, Long Circular
Road, St James.
There were also claims by staff at the
union s head office at Abercromby
Street, Port-of-Spain, of poor working
In newspaper ads published before
today s election, Duke s slate of 13 prom-
ised, among other things, more HDC
homes for public servants, a restructured
Water and Sewerage Authority contract
(WASA) so that workers would be made
permanent, and the inclusion of retirees
in the medical plan.
Team Rebuilders, led by Wilson, also
in a full-page ad, promised to set up
in-house daycare centres for public ser-
vants, adjusting the Maternity Act to
increase maternity leave and to ensure
retirees receive insurance coverage.
Seven candidates vie for post of president as...
Each week, the Guardian
Angel column highlights com-
plaints sent in by you, the con-
sumer, and provides solutions
or directs you to the appropriate
Problem: Ms Joan Brathwaite
said, "I submitted my paperwork
to NIS on June 2, 2011. Having
heard nothing further, I returned
to the office in January 2012.
"I was told my claim had been
approved and I should check my
bank account by July 2012. I wait-
ed and looked but no money was
"I returned to the office in May
2013 and was told it was being
processed but no date could be
"I wrote a letter to Ms Karen
Gopaul in July 2013 and received
a reply from Ms Debra Modeste
in August 2013 that they were
looking into the matter.
"I went to the Cipriani Boule-
vard office in October 2013 but
they had to call to Wrightson
Road for my information, even
though Ms Modeste had replied
to my letter from Cipriani Boule-
Ms Brathwaite said, "I am now
receive any benefits from NIS. I
worked for 23 years in the teach-
ing service but I am still wait-
Solution: NIB said Ms Brath-
waite s application was processed
in October 2013.
However, her application is yet
to be forwarded to the manager
of insurance operations to ratify
her first payment, since the
retroactive payment is more than
the amount the manager at the
service centre can approve.
NIB said they will follow up
with Ms Brathwaite when the file
is forwarded to insurance oper-
Problem: Mr Ramjattan Gan-
gadeen sent in a complaint on
behalf of Mr Vishnu Maharaj of
Partap Trace, South Oropouche.
Mr Maharaj, who turned 65 in
October, made 505 contributions
to NIS during his employment
at SM Jaleel.
He applied for his retirement
pension in 2008 but all he
received was $7,000.
Mr Maharaj said he made
"numerous visits and phone
calls" to the NIS office concerning
his NIS pension and so far he has
been getting a runaround.
Mr Gangadeen said at present
Mr Maharaj is "unemployed and
having to care for his ailing wife
and is not yet in receipt of the
government pension which he
Solution: NIB explained: "The
$7,000 initial payment that Mr
Maharaj received was an interim
payment, pending the completion
of an ongoing investigation to
retrieve possible missing contri-
However, NIB said Mr
Maharaj s application "has been
settled as a retirement grant that
has to be forwarded to the man-
ager of insurance operations to
ratify the payment, as it is in
excess of what the manager at
San Fernando can authorise."
A retirement grant is a one-
time lump-sum payment for
those who have made less than
750 contributions, whereas the
retirement pension is payable for
life to people who have 750 con-
tributions or more (the minimum
requirement for a basic pension).
NIB said the file was forwarded
to insurance operations and pay-
ment will be credited within a
Red tape at NIB creates problems
TALENT ON SHOW
the IDK Dance
show at the
Even as you're encouraged to
take the appropriate routes for
addressing your complaints, the
Guardian Angel is here to assist
you. You can send the Guardian
Angel an e-mail about your
problem and what steps you
took to deal with the matter.
The Guardian Angel looks
forward to hearing from you and
bringing some relief to your
E-mail her at
Please include your name,
address and telephone number
as we'll need them to follow up
Unfortunately, owing to the
volume of e-mails and limited
space, it is impossible to address
every complaint, no matter how
worthy or acknowledge receipt
of every e-mail.
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