City Hall financial woes Deputy Mayor tears up over unpaid workers

first_imgCity Hall financial woes…gives up M in interest for .5M from errant taxpayer for salaries“Mayor and Town Clerk touring, workers starving!” was just one of the many placards outside City Hall on Monday as scores of workers took to the streets to demand their salaries for the month of October. Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran fought back tears as he called out the administration for not being able to constantly pay the workers their salaries.Workers protesting unpaid salariesThe workers from various departments within the municipality called for regular pay.“It has been brought to my attention that our staff have not been paid for last month (October). I have my secretary and many other people coming to my office telling me that they have to go take a loan and pay interest rates on this loan to get by. It is hard when you live paycheque to paycheque; those who know it feel it. My empathy goes out to each and every member of the staff. I saw them in front of City Hall this afternoon and my heart broke,” Jaikarran said while fighting tears during Monday’s statutory meeting.The Deputy Mayor chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Patricia Chase Green, who is currently on tour in China with Town Clerk Royston King and Finance Committee Chairman Oscar Clarke. The last time the trio took a trip together, Guyana got the highly flawed and controversial parking meter project.Some of the protesters outside City Hall on MondayThey are expected back today, and an Extraordinary Statutory Meeting is scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the financial crisis at the Mayor and City Council (M&CC).Jaikarran said that through his office and with approval from Deputy Town Clerk Sharron Harry-Munroe, he solicited a sum of $7,511,130 for the payment of staffers for the month of October. However, that money came with a heavy price tag since City Hall had to waive $19 million in interest from the errant taxpayer.“It is my sincere hope Madame Town Clerk that as I hand you this cheque that the first order of business would be to see the staff remunerated,” he said.“We can’t pay our workers; we are not in the position to. When the opportunity presented itself, I called the Deputy Town Clerk and she said that we needed it.One of the disgruntled workersThere is a protest outside there and it is not right because if you commit to taking on someone to work for you, then you must honour your commitment,” Jaikarran said in an invited comment.Additionally, Councillor Heston Bostwick threatened to resign if cheques continued to bounce when he tried to cash them in.“I stand to report the fact that if it is that administration cannot respect elected officials and Councillors and treat them with the respect, I humbly and sincerely promise that if this continues, I will have no other choice than to tender my resignation. I do not believe that Councillors were elected to be rubber stamps as it appears,” he told Monday’s statutory meeting.Bostwick is owed $150,000 as a stipend for his participation in the parking meter negotiating committee, and Jaikarran said that he hoped that the money was sufficient to pay staffers as well as Bostwick.For quite a while now, the M&CC has been cash-strapped, and on multiple occasions, work around the city had to be halted, since the municipality was unable to pay workers. The city’s major garbage contractors, Cevons Waste Disposal and Puran Bros Disposal Service, were forced to withdraw their services after the administration was unable to pay them over $300 million that they are owed. This resulted in Cevons laying off a number of its employees and Central Government has since indicated that it would be considering bailing the cash-strapped municipality out.last_img

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