Contract workers at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) will receive retroactive salary payments in the next two weeks.
This was confirmed by THA Chief Secretary Orville London during yesterday’s (August 24) post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, who said the decision was taken yesterday by the Executive Council in accordance with legal advice on the matter.
Last month the THA transferred funds to the TRHA to pay public service workers. However, payment to contract workers was held back pending legal advice. Contract workers are typically remunerated according to the terms and conditions expressed in their contracts.
“I’d indicated that we had received correspondence from the CPO which indicated that the arrears should not be paid based on her evaluation of the situation,” London explained. “I did indicate however that we were going to seek the opinion of a Senior Council, which we did. And we received the opinion of a Senior Council earlier this week.”
London said the THA was advised “we should pay the money or arrears to the contract officers.”
The Chief Secretary added that Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development Joel Jack had made $50 million available for the payment, pending the legal advice.
“Approval will be given for the monies to be utilised for the payment of the arrears to the contract officers during the course of this week,” London added. The sum will represent a fifty percent arrears payment in accordance with Central Government’s commitment to paying that amount.
“I have been in touch with the Minister of Finance and he has confirmed that the monies will be refunded to the THA when the requisite paperwork is done,” London added.
London said Minister of Finance Colm Imbert will make a statement shortly “as to how and when the second tranche will be paid to TRHA or RHA workers in Tobago and in Trinidad.”