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GTUC to review position on taking govt’s grant for Critchlow Labour College

GTUC President, Coretta Mc Donald.

GTUC President, Coretta Mc Donald.

Newly-elected President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Coretta Mc Donald on Wednesday said she and other executive members would be reviewing the reason for not taking government’s subvention for the Critchlow Labour College (CLC).

“This new body will definitely have to sit, look at the proposals that are being offered, have discussions and then we’ll make a decision in terms of going forward,” she told a news briefing when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

GTUC General Secretary, Lincoln Lewis in August 2016 announced that CLC opted not to take the subvention because it was half of the estimated GYD$30 million that had been offered by the then People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration in 2007. Demerara Waves Online News was told that government had wanted one representative on the CLC’s Board of Directors. Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has already said that GYD$15 million was all government could have afforded to CLC and the remainder has been spread across other trade unions.

Mc Donald said an agreement has since been reached with the Ministry of Education to spend that money on the rehabilitation of the rundown college building on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown instead of paying lecturers. Some of the funds, she said, would also be used to establish a computer lab for students.

With a major concern having been the lack of accountability at the institution, the GTUC President said the trade union federation would decide the extent to which it would provide audited statements to government because that request had included years for which no subvention had been provided.

“Of course, the college is important and accountability is of utmost importance to us and so we are going to endeavour to have whatever monies would have been given by the government, that all the procedures are put in place so that at the end of the year there will be no difficulty coming from the Guyana Trades Union Congress in terms of presenting to the government audited financial statements,” she said.

CLC was once regarded as not only a worker education institution but Guyana’s premier adult education institution that offered cost-effective access to professional and academic studies leading up to entry level to the University of Guyana. “We recognise that the college offers a second chance to poor people’s children to have a second chance in life,” she said.

The GTUC’s executive is expected to meet with top officials of the CLC next week.