Late delivery for pensions, grants
By Newsday Staff Thursday, November 1 2012
Persons entitled to the Senior Citizens’ Pension, Disability Assistance Grants and Public Assistance Grants will receive their cheques for November late.
The Ministry of the People and Social Development issued a media release yesterday to announce that the cheques may be delivered late and gave the assurance it was working with stakeholders to enure the cheques will be delivered as soon as possible.
The ministry’s communications specialist, Odessa Kerr-Layne, said protest action by TTPost workers have resulted in mail not being delivered and this has affected the delivery of the cheques.
“We are working with TTPost to make sure the cheques are delivered by next Monday for the latest. This however, is not guaranteed, but we are working very hard to get it done,” Kerr-Layne said yesterday.
Kerr-Layne said for those individuals who may not receive their cheques in time and are negatively affected, “we the ministry will be on stand-by to assist our clients in whatever way we can.”
She noted the recipients of the cheques may have different situations, and that for those who find themselves in extreme circumstances of not having food, they can call or visit the ministry’s offices to receive some sort of assistance.
“First they were saying no cheques came, but now they are claiming they are on strike and workers gone in town to march,” a pensioner at TTPost’s office in Chaguanas said in a television interview.
“That is real wickedness,” said another pensioner, who also went to the central post office to collect her pension cheque. “I have food to buy and to pay my bills.”
TTPost’s marketing manager responsible for corporate communications, Devon Phillip, told Newsday yesterday, that protest action by the postal workers have resulted in skeleton staff at post offices for the past two days and this has caused a delay in services.
Phillip said the post offices at Maloney, La Brea and Santa Cruz were closed yesterday because of the protest action. She said services were expected to resume today as workers return to work.
“We have been trying our best to service the public for the past two days, and we want them (the public) to know that mail will be delivered as normal tomorrow (today),” she said.
TTPost workers began protest action on Tuesday in front of the Eric Williams Financial Complex in Port-of-Spain over delayed salary negotiations. They continued their protest yesterday, in hope of having Finance Minister Larry Howai intervene to help speed up negotiations.
Phillip told Newsday that management has applied for the approval from the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis to commence negotiations. The CPO determines the parameters in which negotiations for monetary items can happen.
“We have been consistently trying to get the approval, but we have yet to receive a response from the CPO. “She said she was unsure why the approval was taking this long to be granted,” Phillip said.
Postal Workers Union’s (PWU) General Secretary Reginald Crichlow said workers will continue protesting until their salary concerns are dealt with. TTPost workers have not received a salary increase since 2008.