Black Immigrant Daily News
Chief Secretary Farley Augustine. Photo by the THA
Over 10,000 THA employees are set to receive an ex-gratia payment before the end of the year, THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has said.
He was speaking during Thursday’s plenary sitting of the THA at the Assembly Legislature in Scarborough.
He said: “We looked at the matter of ex-gratia payments, and this administration is committed to giving that ex-gratia payment before the end of this calendar year.
“Let me put on notice our friends in the administrative circle of the THA that this is the policy of the administration, and this is a legal instruction from the Tobago House of Assembly.”
He said the research on the numbers has been done, adding that they were misled when the promise was first made.
“When this was announced last year, the former Chief Secretary jumped out bashing the idea, and some of those opposite bashed it too. But if our chief secretary is on record saying we have some 20,000-something employees, and of course, without access to the data given – we weren’t in the executive – as an island, we had to go with the figure that was given.”
Augustine said the calculation of the number of employees across the THA is 10, 392. The THA employs around 60 per cent of the island’s workforce.
He added that some senior public servants had raised concerns, asking if giving this ex-gratia payment in time for the close of this calendar year would violate regulations for the public servants.
“I do not think so. The preliminary advice does not say so, but out of the abundance of caution, the senior state counsel has been instructed to write to the CPO for clarification.
“But, where there is a will, there is a way, and ex-gratia payments would be made available to members of the public, those who employed by the THA.”
THA employees – the breakdown:
Office of the Chief Secretary (OCS) – 288
Office of the Deputy Chief Secretary – 45
Finance Trace and the Economy – 306
Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development – 1103
Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation – 359
Education, Research and Technology -1325, Community Development, Youth Development and Sport – 820
Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development – 4704
Health Wellness and Social Protection – 1250
Settlements Public Utilities and Rural Development –142
Assembly Legislature – 50