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Critchlow Labour College refuses govt subvention; Finance Minister says “we offer what we can afford”

critchlowlabourThe Critchlow Labour College (CLC) has refused an estimated GYD$15 million subvention because it was less than half of what the previous government had provided to that institution.

However, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that is all government could afford and other trade unions’ education initiatives are also receiving grants that would amount to more than GYD$30 million.

General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Unions Congress (GTUC), Lincoln Lewis announced on Sunday  that the CLC was allocated a GYD$5 million subvention in 2015, but when the GYD$15 million was allocated in this year’s budget that labour and adult education institution refused to draw down the funds.

“Don’t walk out here and tell people that Critchlow get back its subvention. They gave us five million last year and they gave we 15 million this year and we decided among ourselves let them keep their 15 million. This is the people’s money. If the PPP could have given 32 million in 2007 and this year you giving we 15 million and this is how this government stay and we have to talk about it ” he told a plenary session on “Socio-economic and Political Self-Realisation” at the Cuffy250 Fourth Annual State of the African Guyanese Forum held at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.

GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis

GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis

Lewis said the money was used for administration and maintenance of the Critchlow Labour College that is slowly falling into disrepair.

The Finance Minister told a news conference on Monday that he was surprised that the CLC was refusing free money and  that government could not afford more. “We offer what we can afford. We offered  15 (million) but we brought in at the same time wager we are giving each union-the last government never had that- an annual subvention for their training programme, for their training programme,” he said.

“If you are going to refuse a gift, there is nothing much the government can do about it,” he said, adding that CLC is not government-owned but contributed that institution because the educational programmes were beneficial to public servants and other employees. “We are not responsible for financing the activities of Critchlow Labour College. We make a contribution to those activities that they have,” he said.

Jordan explained that several other trade unions have been allocated more than GYD$20 million in subvention each to support their worker educational programmes. “If you add this 15 million and 20-something million dollars we back to 30-something (million dollars). It is the labour movement that we are looking at, not necessarily Critchlow Labour College,” he said.

He welcomed efforts by CLC to reduce its diversify its sources of funding by, for example, renting its facilities to the offshore medical school, Texila University ever since the last government stopped the subvention. “The labour movement if it wants to remain independent, it has to have independent sources of financing. Government is an interested stakeholder but I don’t think the labour movement want to see government financing them for obvious reasons,” he said.

The Finance Minister reasoned that if $15 million would amount to 90 percent of a labour organisation’s budget instead of 15 percent , the labour movement must be concerned.

The then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led government had stopped the grant to CLC, citing a lack of accountability but never restored it even after an audit had not found any major discrepancies.

  • Col123

    Politics equals the death of human conscience…that is, if humans are supposed to have one…On one hand, the government is touting a booming economy … on the other, the importance of education, to uplift the personnel pool..well…when will the govt. say that the Jaggie folks didn’t give a dime to this cause…they really need a PR guru..the ones they pay on those blog sites should do well!!

    • Maximus Sawh

      At least they get 15 million, We have dams here that the coalition’s REO is in no favor of fixing. Rice will have to be transported by speed boats from the fields to the road. No money ain’t deh. Government can’t afford it. However if tomorrow was a follow-up Jubilee, we would have another half a billion dollar shed put up in a jiffy. And u know what the best part will be? We won’t hear a squeak about it.

      • Col123

        The challenges remain for this self inflicted neutered clueless folks running this country. Twenty eight years of Hon Burnham and we do not have any big houses and fancy cars to show for it…After a year in maligning those Jaggie people with their big houses, fancy cars and for keeping awee bandits busy, we don’t have money to even support our own, despite “we deh pon top”!

      • Col123

        If boats are passable in the canals, it should be considered as an alternative route…At the Backwaters in Kerala, India, they are using boats in some areas as transport for paddy, to the mill..

  • Lance Vance

    “Don’t walk out here and tell people that Critchlow get back its subvention. They gave us five million last year and they gave we 15 million this year and we decided among ourselves let them keep their 15 million. This is the people’s money. If the PPP could have given 32 million in 2007 and this year you giving we 15 million and this is how this government stay and we have to talk about it ” he told a plenary session on “Socio-economic and Political Self-Realisation” at the Cuffy250 Fourth Annual State of the African Guyanese Forum held at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.U PEOPLE @ THE CLC MUST MISS THE PPP NOW ,IF WAS THE PPP GOVT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEMONSTRATION IN THE STREET + LOOTING & SHOOTING,BUT NOW IS MASSA COW MASSA BULL GRANGER & MOSES THE BOTTOM FEEDER.

  • Col123

    B..Appreciate your thoughts. You have made some good worthy points in your past comments elsewhere, despite the partisan slant and some comedic propaganda….I am not a fan of Mr Lewis, but I give him a lot of credit for representing labor …if he doesn’t…who would?..The working class in in Guyana …and the world over….do not get their fair representation for the amount of toiling, in what ever they do, to etch out a living. Not the PPP, nor the PNC is capable of uplifting the lives of these hard working folks. He should not be muzzled and should continue to speak…and we should try to hear him…