Lecturers and other staff officials at the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute have not been paid their salaries for the month of March. Several calls were made to our newsroom by concerned employees who want answers from the Tourism Division.
Employees told Tobago News, they have outstanding bills and financial institutions are at their doors. The situation, they explained, has become unbearable.
The institute operates on subventions from the Division of Tourism and Transportation. We contacted CEO of the Institute Wayne Pierre, who confirmed the situation and that several meetings have been held with staff and the Tourism Division on the matter. Like his staff, The CEO of the institute also has not been paid his salary for the month of March.
"Yes I am aware of it. As a matter of fact none of the staff have been paid for the month of March as yet. There were some challenges," Wayne Pierre said.
The institute is one where citizens pursue degrees, associate degrees and short courses in tourism related fields, and then seek employment in various tourism related sectors. Mr. Pierre said he is hopeful there would not be a reoccurrence, of the late payment of salaries.
"We have been in constant contact with the Secretary and the Administrator at the Division, and we have been given the assurance, that the releases have been approved, and we expect to receive our cheque," Wayne Pierre said.
Checks made on Monday with some employees revealed they still have not been paid their salaries. The late payment of salaries is not the only problem facing the institute.
Employees also informed us of poor working conditions in faculty maintenance and the library. They claimed the majority of staff is employed without contracts and with extremely low salaries while some management officials are being issued multiple salaries. Mr. Pierre said the institute is registered with the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago and is also a candidate for full accreditation and therefore, meets all the requirements, where staff is concerned.
"All our lecturers and administrative staff are fully qualified for the positions that they hold," he said.
The institute at present has an enrollment of only 130 students, many of whom are part-time students.
The campus can accommodate 400 students.