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Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Popular entertainer Ella Andall is alive and well.
However, her family is now calling for an apology
from media houses which yesterday reported that
the singer had passed away, when in fact she was
en route to London.
In an interview yesterday, Andall's brother-in-law
Donald Hinkson said the false reports had caused
the family a "great deal of discomfort" yesterday.
He said they spent much of the day dispelling the
inaccurate reports, both locally and internationally.
Early yesterday, reports surfaced on social media
indicating that Andall had passed away. This was
picked up and reported by some local media
houses. Hinkson said he first heard the report
around 8 am when he switched on his television.
He said, however, that he was disturbed that the
media houses did not seek to verify the information
before running with it.
"I am very uncomfortable that something like
this could have happened without anyone checking
with us, the immediate family," he said.
He added that it would now be appropriate for
the media houses which boldly reported that Andall
had passed to issue apologies in a similar fashion.
Asked if he had been told where the rumour first
surfaced, he said: "We don't have a clue."
However, he said it appeared that a blog posted
early yesterday morning may have been the cause.
"Apparently people picked up on it and spread the
word, maybe there was a misinterpretation of the
Close friend of the family, Kurtis Gross, also
confirmed the singer was alive and that the reports
of her death were false. He confirmed she left for
England yesterday and had arrive there safe and
Saturday, February 22, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Row-
ley yesterday slammed the Salaries
Review Commission (SRC), saying
it was disrespectful and out of step
in its 98th Report for salaries and
other benefits for MPs.
The report was presented for
debate in the House of Representa-
tives by leader of government business
Dr Roodal Moonilal.
It contained salary increases and
other benefits for some 900 top offi-
cials in the country, including the
president, prime minister, chief justice
and opposition Leader. The SRC rec-
ommended a 24 per cent hike in
monthly salary for many of those
But Rowley was not impressed by
the SRC report, saying it was done
in a "poor" and "illegal" manner.
Admitting to legislators he had a
problem with the document, Rowley
said it appeared the SRC felt the work
of MPs had diminished, or that the
country cannot afford to pay MPs
He said: "The deputy chairman of
the SRC earns more than a MP. That s
madness, doesn t make any sense.
"I think there is a certain amount
of malevolence that comes from the
commission to members of this
House. And if the rest of you want
to accept it that is a matter for you.
I reject it."
Rowley said he worked very hard
"for whatever is given to me as my
emolument and I haven t been com-
plaining, but I will complain now
when I see I am being disrespected
by a commission that takes the posi-
tion that my time and effort are worth
Noting that the SRC was estab-
lished in 1976 to review the salaries
and other conditions of officials under
its purview, Rowley said this was done
to prevent parliamentarians from set-
ting their own terms and conditions
Rowley said another report, which
was requested by Cabinet from the
House Committee, was more in keep-
ing with the requirements of parlia-
mentarians but was rejected by the
Cabinet. He said the Cabinet had
failed the House Committee, which
was established on September 9, 2013,
and chaired by Housing and Urban
development Minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal. Other members of the
committee were Anil Roberts, Vernella
Alleyne-Toppin, Nela Khan, Colm
Imbert and Nileung Hypolite.
Rowley said he expected the SRC
would have considered facts and not
fiction in making its report. The Diego
Martin West MP said the Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar-led Cabinet failed to
properly assess the House Committee
report, which was prepared following
the SRC report.
He was also critical of the com-
mission for saying in its fifth con-
secutive report that it was not able
to treat with MPs because of the
need for an assessment of workload
Rowley asked how could the com-
mission find resources to violate basic
industrial relations practice, adding
the only thing they did of significance
to MPs was to take away their enti-
tlement to duty/tax exemptions on
cars they buy for their official use.
Rowley said this was not negotiated
and must be rejected outright as it
was wrong in principle.
"Where did the SRC get the
authority from to want to change a
Cabinet decision?" Rowley asked.
"That should have been ignored
out of hand. There is a mindset that
parliamentarians aren t worth any-
thing and they could be treated in
the most off-hand manner."
He said the only people on the
public payroll over whom the public
has any control are MPs.
"If you don t like what they are
doing, then you vote them out of
office next time. We are the only peo-
ple who the members of the public
have any control over, not permanent
secretaries, not directors, not manages
in state enterprises," Rowley said.
He insisted the work of the par-
liamentarians was not a part time
"I know that there are those outside
who say we are arguing for a pay
increase. That s not the argument I
am making, I am making an argument
for fair treatment and more impor-
tantly, to ensure that colleagues on
both sides of the House are available
to the House."
Nobody happy with report
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner
also asked acting Prime Minister Errol
Mc Leod how the salary of the Com-
missioner of Police could be less than
that of the president of Niherst, as
was recommended by the SRC. The
SRC is recommending that the CoP
be paid $31,050 a month, while it
recommended a salary of $32,050 for
the Niherst president.
Moonilal said the increase will be
retroactive to October 2011. He said
the SRC was expected to begin a new
review of salaries and other benefits
for the officials in 2015.
Report out of step
Rowley rejects SRC wage proposals
portrays Heat Fuh
So during the
the Queen's Park
finished sixth to
book a place in
Ella Andall alive
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