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Duke: $120m not enough to settle VSEP at WASA
President of the Public Services Association (PSA) Watson Duke does not think the figure he was given by the management of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) of over $120 million to settle VSEP claims is enough. He said so during a press conference yesterday at the PSA headquarters, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. Duke said for WASA workers not to be shortchanged, management would have to come up with more funds.
He said there were about 600 vacancies to be filled at the authority before employees could move to their correct pay grades. The VSEP offer was made to all workers. Duke said the money was needed so the offers to employees would be acceptable, adding workers were feeling a sense of “fear and trepidation” they might lose their jobs through mandatory retrenchment. He said WASA was “personal” to him and was hoping for peaceful negotiations.
Duke already has met with management and after “long dialogue,” he hoped there would be an amicable settlement. He said the PSA was making every effort to make sure WASA employees would get a fair deal if they should accept the VSEP packages. Duke said there were plans to have about 35 companies help WASA employees learn about saving, investment and business operations.
That, he said, was an attempt to make sure they could live a good life if they should accept the offer. Over the next two weeks, the PSA would focus on making sure WASA employees received the best possible package, he added.
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