The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) said it is “committed to fully paying our staff all salaries owed.”
In a media release issued Monday, March 8, the SVP stated it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with 2020 being “a very difficult year…as both fundraising and donations were severely impacted. This resulted in the late payments for staff in 2021.”
Staff of the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons (CSDP) have complained about non-payment of salaries for January and February. A group demonstrated publicly in Port of Spain on March 3. The SVP is paid quarterly via the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services to manage the CSDP on behalf of the State.
The release stated as a “purely charitable organisation”, the SVP relies on donations “including subventions from Government” and fundraising to accomplish its work.
It appealed for the public’s help in continuing the good work by donating funds to the SVP account at Republic Bank Limited: Account number: 1804 6276 3901, or cheques in the name of ‘Society of St Vincent De Paul’, sent to the Headquarters at 20 Duncan Street, Port of Spain. For further information, the public can call: 625-3562 or via email at email@example.com.
“Please help us to help the poorest of the poor” the release said.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul is an organisation fully dedicated to serving the needs of the poor and most vulnerable in the country. This service has been ongoing since 1857 and impacts almost all the communities in Trinidad and Tobago.
A Newsday newspaper report March 6 cited a statement in which Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox said the government provides a quarterly subvention to assist with recurrent expenditure.
According to the release, “St Vincent de Paul is an autonomous non-governmental organisation with its own governance structure,” and “The staff at the CSDP is the sole responsibility of the St Vincent de Paul Society.”
The release referred to workers approaching the Ministry to complain they had not been paid for January and February. “It should be noted that the State remains committed to supporting institutions for the socially displaced via the payment of subventions, but there has been some unforeseen delays with regard to payment of subventions to all non-governmental organisations (NGOs).” According to the release, the Ministry “humbly regrets this situation” and was working with the relevant authorities to address the matter “within the constraints brought about by our country’s financial realities following COVID-19.” —LPG