Some workers with the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development are yet to receive December 2017 salaries despite funds being made available to pay all Tobago House of Assembly (THA) workers before Christmas.
Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, asked about the non-payment of salaries to the workers at last Thursday’s post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall, said:
“Monies have been made available for the payment of all workers in Tobago. The issue of workers not being paid at the Division of Health, Wellness and family Development is an issue that is actively engaging my attention and that of the Chief Administrator. At this time, I would say no more on that.”
He said persons must be accountable, at every level, for the jobs they do, and that he was prepared to ensure that this was done.
“No Chief Secretary and no Secretary prepares a paysheet or approves, we are to ensure that funds are released to the Divisions. The Administrators are the accounting officers. All Divisions were provided with the appropriate releases, so that all employees should have been paid (for Christmas),” he said.
Asked if the Administrator of the Health Division may have been at fault in the non-payment of the salaries for the workers, Charles told reporters:
“You can draw your own conclusion.”
Asked about reports of ‘animosity’ among staff at the Division as a cause for the problems with the payment of December salaries, Charles said:
“Animosity, hear who you asking! As far as I am concerned, members of my Executive Council, I have always said to them operate in a professional manner because it is not a parlour we are running, it is the business of the government. I don’t know that one basically has to have a sociable relationship in order to work together,’ he said.
Attempts to contact the Division’s Administrator, Karen Ottley, for comment were futile as all calls to her phone went unanswered.