The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has approved the payment of arrears to eligible Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) workers to the tune of $70 million.
THA Chief Secretary Orville London made the disclosure this afternoon (July 13) during the weekly post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall.
The matter was discussed when the Executive Council met this morning, and it approved the funding request.
London said the issue of approval was not only related to payment “but also to the quantum (being requested)”.
“The total amount of which we’re speaking is $140,329,658 dollars to be paid to 1,607 daily rated and monthly paid workers of the TRHA,” London stated.
He indicated that based on a directive from the Ministry of Finance, the TRHA was requested to pay 50 percent, or “well over $70 million dollars” to the workers.
“The Tobago House of Assembly and the Tobago Regional Health Authority are committed to paying that money, but in order to pay that money you have to have it,” the Chief Secretary said.
London said the THA now has to source those funds.
“We do not have the funding in our allocation and therefore the Secretary of Finance has taken the responsibility to source funding from our overdraft facility and utilise that funding for the payment until such time when we’re reimbursed by the Ministry of Finance.”
The Chief Secretary said he is hopeful this will happen soon.
“I have been given some degree of assurance that within the course of next week the funding should be available to workers,” London said.