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Duke says no clarity on TTRA issues

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Public Services Association (PSA) President Watson Duke says he is dissatisfied with the lack of answers from Finance Minister Colm Imbert about how government intends to go about setting up the T&T Revenue Authority (TTRA) and the impact it will have on the workers.

Following yesterday's meeting at the Ministry of Finance, Port-of-Spain, Duke said the majority of concerns raised by the PSA had not been addressed in their entirety.

He claimed most of questions submitted by the union during the meeting on November 13, remained unanswered.

Among them he said was whether posts at the TTRA would be permanent, if the union would receive a copy of documents outlining government's plans on how the TTRA would operate, the structure of the TTRA, whether or not workers from both divisions would continue to enjoy benefits such as health and pension, and if the PSA would be recognised as the workers' representative.

Duke said Imbert repeated earlier assurances that no one would be sent home and that the 1,275 workers from the BIR and the Customs & Excise Division would enjoy the same terms and conditions no less favourable than they currently enjoy.

He added, "The issues which we were grappling with before that were not quite straight-forward, remain the same."

However, he said Imbert acknowledged their request for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Promising to update the workers during a meeting scheduled for Thursday at 1 pm at Customs House , Duke said the PSA will meet with Imbert on December 20, to once again ventilate the issue.