Security Officers attached to Integrated Security Services in Berbice have mounted protest over the fact that they have not been paid for the year.
Yesterday, the company issued a press release admitting that some of the workers have indeed not been paid. However, the company said that reason for the non-payment has been given to the workers.
The company said that it began operating in Regions Five and Six on December 1, taking up the mantle from another company that had contracts with the Region before.
The company said that management did not want to put all those who worked with the previous company on the breadline. Therefore, a decision was taken to retain them all. By mid-December, the company issued payments to all workers who made claims.
However, the release stated, “When a review of the payments was done, management realized that several overpayments were made. Also, the records at the Human Resources Department and the records of Operations Unit were not in harmony with the payroll records.
“Payroll processed just about 800 payments when HR and operations can account for substantially fewer employees. All of these departments in Georgetown rely on information provided by the supervisors in the two regions. But the claims sent to the Payroll Department did not match the files in the HR department or the timesheets in the Operations Unit.”
The company said that sub-offices in Regions Five and Six failed to send several documents requested by the main office located in Georgetown.
“Management spoke to the supervisors of the various sub-offices in Regions Five and Six and expressed the concerns that it experienced. Countless requests were made for documentation to be sent to Georgetown.
“Management went at lengths to explain that it needs more than just names to pay and was firm that the system of paying without verification was only facilitated in December in consideration of the season. Still, the verification records were slow in coming to the head office,” the release stated.
The company said that one of its supervisors in Region Five, Curtland Sobers, explained that the security officers were complaining about having to provide TIN, ID card and NIS number.
“All the employees whose files have been completed at HR have been paid. Persons who protested recently would have been asked to provide the relevant information but Sobers has not provided all. As recent as Thursday, Sobers brought some more verification documents. They are being processed and those persons will be paid within a few days.”
The release continued, “The majority of Region Six workers have been paid. On Thursday last, a meeting was held with some of the workers. More payments were handed out then and company representatives called the names of those persons who still need to get their information into us to be verified.”
The company said that as soon as the first name was called, one female worker began venting her frustration about not being paid. The young lady explained that she has her family to take care of.
It was explained to her that deductions are being made to her salary for NIS and that it is illegal not to pay NIS. The entity also told her that in order to send her payment into NIS; the company has to get her NIS number etc. It was also explained to her that the company has to send in an entire schedule as NIS does not accept scattered information and those who are still to submit their information are holding up the process.
The company noted that it has gone to great lengths to facilitate the payments that have been made.
Integrated Security Services said that it usually makes all payments through the bank. However, most of the persons attached to the entity’s branch in Berbice do not have Citizen Bank accounts. Therefore, cash in hand payments were made.
“But before resorting to cash in hand payments, discussions were made to the bank to have all the employees signed up. As a result of those engagements, the bank even waived the fee attached to opening the accounts. Three consecutive Saturdays, Citizen Bank representatives travelled to Berbice to facilitate sign up, but few employees took advantage of the opportunity,” the release stated.
The company said that it is becoming frustrated with the non-cooperation of the workers it inherited. The company noted that it also has Region Four operations and never encountered such problems. All Region Four employees have been paid.
“Integrated Security Services remains committed to its motto: Quality people, Quality Training, Quality service. It will not deviate from its commitment to honest and transparent operations. Despite apparent attempts to stymie smooth operations, the company will try its best to iron out the kinks in its Berbice operations.
“ISS wishes to make clear, that all employees who make their documentation available will be paid soonest, pending verification,” the release stated.
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