GuySuCo pensioners left in crisis over pension fund

first_img…beneficiaries fear being short-changed by Govt Even as pensioners remain concerned over how much of their pension benefits they will actually get, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the Agriculture Ministry are mum over the state of the pension fund for unionized workers.GAWU PresidentKomal ChandEven as the workers remain in the cold about the status of their pension fund, some have questioned whether they would be treated like the bauxite workers, in Region 10.A senior manager who is part of the fund told this publication that, in 2002, the then Government had signed an agreement with the two large bauxite unions, providing six weeks’ severance pay for every year of service, with a cap of 104 weeks. Additionally, the Government committed to pay the pension plan deficit and bring up to date outstanding payments for NIS and PAYE. The manager said that almost $3 billion was paid out by Government to fulfil these obligations.This newspaper was also told that, separate from the pay out, the Bauxite Industry Pension Plan (BIPP) was wound up and the full benefits were paid to all members of the bauxite industry pension plan.Acting GuySuCo CEOPaul BhimThis is a major concern for another beneficiary of the GuySuCo pension plan called STEPS (Sugar Trading Enterprise Pension Scheme), which is the largest pension plan in the country. Its officials have said there seems to be no focus on protecting the workers’ benefits and ensuring fair treatment of sugar workers.Just over 5400 sugar workers were dismissed as Government closed four sugar estates and vested their assets into the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) since the end of 2017.There is major fear that Government would short-change the workers, a former employee told this publication on Saturday.“Instead of the workers being paid both their contribution and that of GuySuCo, workers are concerned that they may end up with far less than the same treatment enjoyed by the bauxite industry,” a former senior staff stated.The STEPS Fund has a history of negative figures, but several persons have opined that with the closure of several estates and the downsizing of the industry, there will be an influx of persons into the pension system.Reports are that the Employees Retirement Benefits are in negative territory by $1.1 billion, as opposed to $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the 2015 financial statements produced by GuySuCo. And according to well-placed sources, the state of the fund has not improved.A former employee of the Corporation had told this newspaper that Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) pulling out from the fund has added pressure to the fund.The employee had expressed the view that Government had to be aware of the dilemma. He said this on the basis that there was no likelihood that foreign investors would have joined the fund, as the Financial Act currently prohibits certain levels of offshore investment.According to the former employee, there is likelihood that the scheme will lose its viability to provide a pension for those who are already receiving a pension, because of the lack of investment portfolios.“The pension is already burdened by those already receiving a pension, and it will be exacerbated by the additional people who will now become eligible for pension as a result of being severed from the company,” he added.While the pension fund had been in trouble before the new Government took office in 2015, there was no move made to stabilise the fund, especially in light of plans to downsize the industry.When contacted for information on the fund, GuySuCo’s acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Bhim had professed that the fund had a surplus. However, he was unable to provide details on exactly what the balance of the fund represented.He had informed this publication that there is usually a three-year valuation exercise done, with the next one due in June 2019. Bhim had revealed, however, that this exercise would be brought forward to this year, due to the massive changes.last_img read more

For the record

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In a Sunday Business story about Montrose, a comment about the bookstore Once Upon a Time was wrongly attributed to Jean Linington, a former employee at the store.last_img

Metro board due to vote Thursday

first_imgRESEDA – From Cleveland High to Leimert Park, opponents rallied Monday against proposed fare hikes for Metro buses and trains, hoping to persuade transit officials to reject the plan later this week. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is scheduled to vote Thursday on a plan to more than double fares for most riders by 2009 in a bid to help close a $1.8 billion gap. But the Bus Riders Union and other critics say the higher fares will create a financial hardship for minorities, students and others who rely on public transportation. “We feel it will have a negative impact on many of the families we serve at Cleveland High School,” Principal Bob Marks said. But Metro spokesman Marc Littman said fares have been kept artificially low for years – the $20 student pass is even lower than the $22 charged in 1982 – while the agency’s costs have soared for gas, labor and equipment. Passenger fares make up about 9 percent of Metro’s $3-billion-a-year budget and this year netted about $278.5 million for the agency. The largest portion of Metro’s budget, about 62 percent, comes from sales tax revenue, which last year generated $1.6 billion to the agency. Under the proposals unveiled in March, daily, weekly and monthly passes would increase in cost on July 1 and again on Jan. 1, 2009. Today’s $3 daily pass for unlimited rides, for example, would cost $5 this summer and $8 in 2009. Regular monthly passes that cost $52 today would be $75 in July and $120 in 2009. Earlier in the day, leaders from the African-American community called on Metro board members Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, Bernard Parks and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to reject the fare proposal. In a letter to the Metro board dated Monday, Villaraigosa recommended alternatives to the proposed increases and said the board should approve a five-year plan to addresses the projected operating deficit. He called for an annual 5 percent fare increase to keep pace with rising operating costs. Villaraigosa said the board should also aggressively pursue the city’s share of state spillover funds – a portion of money that comes from sales tax on gasoline and is transferred to the state’s public transportation account. The money accumulates when collections from the sales tax on gasoline grow at a faster rate than all other taxable items. In his state budget proposal, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed moving as much as $1.3 billion in spillover money from public transportation to other projects. Metro has counted on about $230 million of the money for transit projects and for operating buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County. “Over the next coming months we will need to address this issue of funding,” wrote Villaraigosa in the letter. “Because if we do not, we will continue to see fights over fare hikes, service cuts and which important rail projects should be built next.” sue.doyle@dailynews.com (818) 713-3746 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Virginia Ramirez, a 17-year-old Cleveland senior who depends on the bus, hopes the Metro board will reject the plan. She works in a supermarket floral department and is saving for college while trying to help her family financially. She wonders how she’ll pay the higher fares. “If the price of everything goes up, it’s harder to save money,” said Ramirez. Metro was barred for many years from raising fares because of a 1996 federal consent decree that required the transit agency to invest $1.3 billion to improve bus service. In October 2006, a federal judge allowed the decree to expire after ruling that Metro had complied with its provisions. “At this point if we don’t raise fares or cut service we will be out of reserves and not able to make payroll in 11/2 years,” Littman said. last_img read more

City Council OKs Lake Balboa expansion

first_imgA contentious battle over the boundaries of the Valley’s newest community, Lake Balboa, ended Friday with the City Council approving an expansion adding 40,000 residents who live in the area of Van Nuys west of the 405 Freeway. After a nearly hourlong hearing at Van Nuys City Hall, the council voted 10-0 to approve the name change recommended by the council members who represent the different portions of Van Nuys and Lake Balboa – with an urging that the differing sides put aside their disagreements and work together to improve the community. “The truth of the matter is that this will not do one thing to change the quality of life in the neighborhoods,” said Councilman Tony C rdenas, who represents most of the area. “This isn’t going to change the community. It will change the name of a portion of it, but the bottom line is that what comes out of this will not clean up any of the streets. It will not fill any potholes. It will not make a difference.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Lake Balboa was created in 2002 – with the boundaries of White Oak Avenue, Sherman Way, Hayvenhurst Avenue and Victory Boulevard. It includes most of the Sepulveda Dam Basin recreation area and Birmingham High School. Under the new plan, Lake Balboa will be extended to roughly take in the area up to the 405 Freeway and include Roscoe Boulevard and Louise Avenue. Steve Leffert, head of the West Van Nuys-Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council, said inclusion of the area was part of a long-held promise when the community’s name was first changed. “Many of these people supported us in the original boundary name change,” Leffert said. “What we are trying to do is be inclusive to those who supported us and are looking to be part of Lake Balboa.” Opponents, however, said the change would present a hardship and was a slap at the history of Van Nuys. “The saddest part is the majority of the council doesn’t care about what happens to Van Nuys,” said Don Schultz of the Van Nuys Homeowners Association. “This is just another divisive method of treating Van Nuys almost as a community that doesn’t exist.” Councilman Greig Smith said the area has changed. “We put procedures in place to allow boundaries to change,” Smith said. “We changed the boundaries of West Hills three times. North Hills changed its boundaries twice. There is nothing sacrosanct about boundaries. “I know very clearly that there were people north of Sherman Way that they expected to be part of Lake Balboa some day. “The most important thing is the community has changed. This is not Van Nuys, it is not West Van Nuys. It is an area looking for an identity.” C rdenas, who said his staff had worked hard to accommodate the different sides with changes in the boundaries, said he wished there was as much public energy put into other issues. “We debate a lot of issues here, some of them life and death,” C rdenas said. “How many police officers are there? How many parks do we have to work with young people? How do we deal with juvenile delinquency? And we don’t see the same passion as we see here. “I wish we had the same type of dialogue on those issues. I lose sleep at night over what we are going to do to deal with some of those issues. “What’s sad to say is that I have also lost sleep over this and it’s not going to change the community. It will change the name, but that’s all.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

France v Argentina: World Cup 2018 preview, predicted team line-ups and more

first_img Sampaoli speaks to the world’s media ahead of Argentina’s game against France Ever Banega (Argentina) – On the importance of Messi – “It is always a pleasure to play next to Leo. We all know what a player he is.”How can I listen?Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT.Team newsFrance will be without Benjamin Mendy because of a muscle injury.Lucas Hernandez should be available and Deschamps is expected to recall the players he rested against Denmark. Nabil Fekir could start for Les Bleus, however. 4 France made a series of changes for their final Group C game against Denmark 4 Argentina were five minutes away from a humiliating exit but Marcos Rojo’s volley bailed them out It”s Messi v Griezmann, Mbappe v Higuain, Pogba v Banega. This could be one of the all-time World Cup classics.And you can listen to the game live on talkSPORT from 3pm on Saturday.What the managers are saying:Didier Deschamps (France): “I’m not looking for excuses.“On the contrary. But as you know, we have 14 players who’ve never competed at a World Cup. Five played for the first time against Australia, another five against Denmark, so whatever their individual abilities I think this should allow some indulgence.”Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina): “Lionel Messi needs the support from his team-mates, only then will he be able able to play at his best.“People have said he doesn’t enjoy playing for Argentina. That’s not true.” What the players are saying:Antoine Griezmann (France): “I hope to raise my level again in the last 16.“It was the same at Euro 2016. It wasn’t until the last 16 that I hit my stride. So we’ll see. I have confidence in my game.” Argentina have no new injury concerns and it could be the first time they name an unchanged side under Sampaoli in what will be his 15th game in charge.Predicted teamsFrance: Lloris, Sidibe, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi, GiroudArgentina: Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Perez, Mascherano, Banega, Di Maria, Messi, HiguaintalkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Griezmann has only scored one goal at these World Cup finals so far 4 What a mouthwatering game this will be. France and Argentina lock horns for a place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.The French have had a relatively easy campaign so far, while the two-time winners just managed to scrape through their group, but this is a real clash of the titans. 4last_img read more

LADIES GAA: BRAVE TERMON JUST FAIL TO DETHRONE ULSTER CHAMPIONS

first_imgBy James  Trearty at the Ulster  Senior Ladies Final,Termon 2–6 Donaghmoyne  Co  Monaghan  1–12Termon  Senior  Ladies came  ever  so  close to  topple  current Ulster  champions  Donaghmoyne  at  Augher  Co  Tyrone on  Sunday. Termon who had  Therese Mc Cafferty  back in the  starting  line up  was  two  points  down inside four  minutes  when  Catriona  Mc  Connell pointed  two  frees  for  the  champions.  Geraldine  Mc Laughlin opened  Termons  account  with  a point  before Roisin  Friel  levelled matters for Termon. Majella  Woods  extended  Donaghmoynes  lead before  Roisin Friel  goaled  following  good  play  by Roisin Mc Cafferty. Better  was  to  come  for  Termon  when  the  referee  awarded Termon  a penalty for  a foot  block on Geradine Mc Laughlin as  she  attempted  to  pull  the  trigger  on goal. Mc Laughlin raised another green  flag from  the  spot  to  put  Termon  ahead by five  points. Catriona mc  Connell with  three  points reduced  Termons  lead and  on the  close of  the  first  hald  Geraldine  Mc  Laughlin added  a Termon  point  to  leave HT  Termon   2–4  Donaghmoyne 0–7.On the  resumption it  was  all Donaghmoyne as  Mc Connell  with  two  points  and  a  great Lisa Kingham  goal  after being setup  by Sharon Courtney put  Donaghmoyne  two  ahead. Geraldine  Mc Laughlin reduced the deficit with  a point  with  ten minutes  to  go ,and  this  was  to  be   the last  Termon score.  Donaghmoyne added  further  scores  via  Majella  Woods , Mc  Connell and  Lisa  Kingham.Best  for  Termon  was  Laura  Galllagher,  Nicole  Mc  Laughlin and  Emer  GallagherDonaghmoyne  were  best  served  by Lisa Kinghan, Sharon Courtney  and  player  of  the  match  Catriona  Mc  Connell  who  ended  up  with  a grand  total of nine  points Termon  team was  Laura Gallagher, Caroline Duffy,Niamh  friel, Nicole  Mc  Laughlin, Grainne  Mc Cafferty, Therese  Mc  Cafferty, Petra Mc Cafferty, Emer  Gallagher, Sharon Mc  Laughlin, Roisin  Mc  Cafferty, Geraldine Mc Laughlin, Olive  Mc Cafferty, Maureen  o  Donnell, Roisin Friel Dara  Kelly.Prior to  the  game  a minutes silence  was observed  for  the late Elaine  Winston Friel  wife of  current Termon Senior player Francis Friel  who died  on Saturday.In  his  post match speech Ulster President Hugh  Devenney   also  made  reference  to  the  vast  contribution that Elaine had  made to all  Gaa  matters  during  her short  lifeteime LADIES GAA: BRAVE TERMON JUST FAIL TO DETHRONE ULSTER CHAMPIONS was last modified: November 5th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LADIES GAA: BRAVE TERMON JUST FAIL TO DETHRONE ULSTER CHAMPIONSlast_img read more

Buncrana Pier Tragedy: Water safety expert said council should consider ‘slippery surface’ signs

first_imgThe Chief Executive Officer of Water Safety Ireland has said a report into future safety at Buncrana Pier should consider putting ‘slippery surface’ notices in the area.A report commisioned by Donegal County Council in the aftermath of the tragedy in which five people died does not suggest this.The 909 page report carried out by Dublin-based company GDG Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions did not specifically suggest this. It is thought that the family of five which perished at the pier had slipped into the water after their Audi Q7 jeep slid on heavy algae.A number of witnesses at today’s inquest including investigating Gardai said they found it hugely difficult to stand on the bottom of the pier because of the presence of heavy algae in March, 2016.The Director of Services for Roads and Transportation at Donegal County Council, Mr John McLaughlin gave evidence to the inquest.He outlined a number of recommendations suggested in the report after the tragedy. These include additional signage and more lifebuoys at Buncrana Pier and slipway.He clarified that of the 909 page report into Donegal’s one hundred plus piers, six and a half pages dealt specifically with Buncrana Pier.However, none of these signs specifically refer to slippery surfaces.CEO of Water Safety Ireland, Mr John Leech, said in his evidence that this is something which may be considered for Buncrana.He said that the area was a tourist attraction and that there was a lot of footfall in the area. “You may need to tell them that they could slip,” he said.He added that there could also have yellow-hatch markings on the pier as well as a notice board informing people of the conditions.However, he added that in his 16 years as CEO of Water Safety Ireland and his previous 21 years as a Naval Officer, he never came across such a situation.“In relation slipways we have literally no other records of accidents of this type apart from suicides,” he said. Council spokesman Mr McLaughlin was cross-examined at length.He said an aspect of the recommendation of the report into piers and slipways in Donegal recommended that people should have a self-informing attitude.He said it cost €400 each time that a pier had to be power-washed and that in 2016, Donegal County Council spent a total of €2.2 million on its piers and slipways.Buncrana Pier Tragedy: Water safety expert said council should consider ‘slippery surface’ signs was last modified: November 23rd, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Video: Richard Langley’s verdict on QPR’s home win against Sunderland

first_imgRichard Langley gives his reaction to QPR’s 1-0 win against Sunderland at Loftus Road.The former Rangers midfielder says he hopes to see Adel Taarabt stay at the club and play a leading role this season.See also:Austin’s goal gives QPR deserved victoryQPR v Sunderland player ratingsFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Latest: Sporting 0 Chelsea 1 – Blues closing in on victory in Lisbon

first_imgChelsea are on course for victory in their second Champions League game of the season thanks to Nemanja Matic’s superb looping header.But the Blues face a tough test to keep out a Sporting Lisbon side who are posing a far greater threat after being outclassed in the first half.Former Benfica midfielder Matic met a long, floated Cesc Fabregas cross at the back post and guided the ball into the far corner of the Sporting net soon after the half-hour mark.The lead was thoroughly deserved after a dominant opening by the Blues, who could easily have been three goals ahead by that point.Diego Costa, who started despite ongoing concerns about a hamstring injury, was denied an opener inside two minutes by a brilliant Rui Patricio block.And the Sporting goalkeeper made a fine save to thwart Andre Schurrle, who also missed a glorious chance after being teed up by the excellent Eden Hazard.Islam Slimani wasted the home side’s beat first-half chance, a downward header that was easily dealt with by Thibaut Courtois.But the Portuguese played with far greater purpose after the interval, with former Manchester United winger Nani at the heart of nearly all their best work.He curled one effort just wide and also hit the side netting after a fine move.But Chelsea were still creating – and missing – the best chances.Oscar poked an effort straight at the on-rushing Patricio when through on goal while Costa had a shot blocked.And Chelsea failed to make the most of several promising positions to seal victory as the game reached its final quarter.Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa Subs: Cech, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Mikel, Salah, Willian, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Upgrade Your Caching Adventure – Geocaching.com Weekly Newsletter

first_imgTap into the power of a Premium Membership on Geocaching.com. Going Premium costs about as much as a cup of coffee a month and supports the activity you love. Premium Members save time by unlocking features like custom search (Pocket Queries). They earn VIP access to Premium Member only caches and even receive instant notifications of new cache placements.Watch this new Premium Member video. Geocachers show and tell you about supercharging their geocaching adventure by going Premium. If you’re already a Premium Member, thank you for supporting geocaching! Share the joy of geocaching with others through the gift of a pre-paid Premium Membership. For orders outside the United States click here.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Presents: Premium MembershipOctober 8, 2012In “Deutsch”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – March 30, 2011March 30, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Hike or seek this seasonSeptember 17, 2019In “News” Spend Less Time Planning and More Time Playinglast_img read more