Vendors, Councillors blame Sooba for market shutdown

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

 

Vendors converge outside City Hall.
Vendors converge outside City Hall.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Georgetown Mayor & City Council (M&CC) says it is capable of paying the five percent increase and uniform allowance that was agreed to by the full Council and the Guyana Local Government Officers Union, (GLGOU) during negotiations recently.

Staffers at the M&CC have gone on strike, commencing this morning; forcing the closure of all city markets, the abattoir and other municipal centers.

The over 250 employees who are members of the GLGOU are protesting the failure of the Council to pay them wage and salary increases and other allowances. On Thursday last, the Union had given the M&CC a 48-hour ultimatum threatening appropriate industrial action.

During a press conference at the Mayor’s Office this morning, Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green explained in detail the events that led to the shutdown.

She blamed Town Clerk (ag) Carol Sooba for this unfortunate incident, while sympathizing with the hundreds of vendors whose livelihoods are being affected.

Some vendors locked inside the Bourda Market.
Some vendors locked inside the Bourda Market.

The Deputy Mayor explained that the two unions proposed a five percent increase and an increase of uniform allowance from $9,000 to $12,000. An agreement was met between the Council and the GLGOU.

The same decision was arrived at after meeting with the Guyana Labour Union (GLU).

An meeting is expected to be held tomorrow, Tuesday December 16 at 14:00hrs to deal with the demands made by the GLGOU.

“If that meeting is called as we said to the union at mid night tonight as long as we have the majority of councillors there the money will be approved. Personnel section has already made up all that money send to the treasurers department, it has to be approved by a full council. Ms Sooba could not insult the integrity of this council by sending this document, a piece of paper for us to pay out millions of dollars,” Chase – Green told the media.

Chase-Green is refusing to sign the piece of paper that was sent to her by Sooba to sign.

“I will not sign it and the Councillors have agreed that they will not sign it, they want a properly convened meeting so it can be approved and tabled in a document like format.”

She explained that there is nothing they can do since the law says such huge sums have to be approved by a full Council.

When iNews visited the Bourda Market around 7:00 hours this morning, some vendors were locked in while others could not gain access to the premises which was guarded by big padlocks on the gates. The situation has riled up

5 COMMENTS

  1. Let it be known that the council is the legal body, not the administrator. The council was empowered by the Minister of Local Government, to represent the citizens. The council dictates on almost everything. It is the council that is answerable to the Proprietors, and residents of Georgetown. They are more powerful when they are in Statutory meetings, sub committee meetings, emergency meetings, and so on. In those meetings, the clerk (Town Clerk) became the secretary of such meetings, and is to record the day’s proceedings, and have it minuted in a minute book, which should be available to/for public scrutiny. The Town Clerk Appointments did not come from the Mayor or the council. The clerk and her staff can only carry out the council wish that was minuted if it’s within the legality of the bylaws. By the way all councilors are political appointed. Should the Minister dissolve the council, and formed an I.M.C, the clerk and staff remains, Under the PNC anything could have been done, but now we have a democracy.

  2. Close down the entire City Hall and not the markets. The mayor, town clerk and all the Councillors are responsible.

  3. Minister Whittaker, should walk in and close them down, by dissolving the GM&CC. Dissolve the council and install an interim management committee.
    This woman Patricia Chase – Green is extremely wicked, to accuse Sooba, who she cannot match. Sooba did her job, it is the council that failed. She eventually contradicted herself by saying that the councilors will have to meet and approve the payments. This ignorant woman needs to read the bylaws of the local Government and understand that the council has the power to call an emergency meeting, and bring the day’s proceedings to the next statutory meeting for sanctioning and minuted. According to chapter 28:02 the council doesn’t need the majority councilor as Green claimed, all they need is to have a quorum, and every decision taken is legal. The PNC will do anything to make Guyana and the Government look bad.
    The council has the power to call any amount of emergency meetings between statutory meetings. All these PNC people are only there to collect their fat stipend every month. Shame on you PNC!

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