– funding not available, some employees to pay for meals
Approximately 30 persons on the auxiliary staff of President’s College are slated to be transferred from the institution to the Ministry of Education in Georgetown, while others are expected to be asked to retire, having reached the age limit.
Kaieteur News understands that the Board of the college is contemplating to make this move, to cut costs at the institution, as the money from Central Government is not enough to maintain the school and the staff.
However, the staff has not been officially informed of this move by the Board, but this newspaper was told that ‘the talk has been around the college since the latter part of last year’.
Kaieteur News understands that a finance committee meeting was held at President’s College on January 15, last, where the committee examined the recommendations of the task force to cut costs at the college.
This newspaper is in possession of the minutes of that meeting and the committee has since recommended that all staff would have to pay for meals except the principal, deputy principal, administrative manager, Medex, house parents and kitchen staff that would be entitled to meals while on duty.
Also, teachers living in staff houses would have to pay a monthly sum of $5,000 for electricity until meters are installed.
All allowances, responsibility, housing, travelling and honoraria would cease, except teachers’ duty allowance, acting allowance and motor car travelling allowance for the administrative manager, a standard entitlement fixed by the Public Service Ministry.
It was also recommended that the guidance and counselling officer retire if she so desires or be transferred to a similar position by the Ministry of Education, while the administrative assistant will no longer be required.
The internal auditor is to finalize her operations and special assignments and then be transferred to a similar position by the Education Ministry. The maintenance manager will be replaced by a maintenance supervisor in view of the number of buildings, large compounds and different types of equipment to maintain.
The board also recommends that the post of plant supervisor would be made redundant and the holder retires or be transferred by the Ministry of Education.
It was also recommended that the senior storekeeper retire, as the position is no longer needed in the college, and the same goes for the laundry supervisor.
The assistant accountant will also be asked to retire or be transferred by the ministry, and the same applies for the supervisor of cleaners, while one of two carpenters will be asked to retire and the remainder will be designated.
The board recommends that the sports organiser retire after the June 2009 CXC examinations and the position would be transferred to the teaching sector, while the registry supervisor will be asked to either resign or be transferred by the Education Ministry, and the same goes for the Accounts Clerk I and II and the Typist/Clerk I and II, along with the office assistant, the two cooks, the two maids, the two laundresses, the four cleaners and one library assistant. The security checkers would be asked to retire.
Member of Parliament of the People’s National Congress Reform, Ernest Elliot, told this newspaper that when President’s College was opened, it was a self-sustained institution, with agricultural produce, but now no cash crops are being planted and as such it is a heavy budget for central government.
“The thing is that, to date, staff members are only hearing about this. Nobody has gone into the school to explain anything to them and to let them know what is going on,” Elliot said.
He added that the auxiliary staff is very worried about their job at the learning institution as they are of the view that the ‘top brackets’ are not being touched. Instead, the junior workers are feeling the squeeze.
Some of the very employees have been employed at the institution from the inception, while others have been working there for the past 15 years or so.
“As a Member of Parliament, I am seriously disturbed at what is taking place at the college. If you walk in there now, you will be surprised to see the state that President’s College is in. It is improperly kept and the building needs some refurbishing.”
According to Elliot, if the recommendations are to come through, then it would have major effect on the staff.
Elliot is now urging the board of President’s College and the Minister of Education to tell the people exactly what is taking place in the college and to let the staff know their status.
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