Workers in Government’s 2014 National Summer Camps programme have not yet been paid.
But the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, is promising that their money is coming soon.
In a statement issued today, in which he sought to explain the delay and give assurances of payment, the minister said the funds sought from alternative sources for this year’s programme were not disbursed in the way necessary to pay camp staff in the way to which they were accustomed.
With a reduced budget that affected not only the national camps but other programmes in the ministry, Lashley said the alternative funding support had been sought in order to facilitate and maintain the Freundel Stuart administration’s commitment to delivering a free, structured and supervised summer programme for Barbadian youth aged four to 15 years.
“The history of payment of camp staff has been that once the first tranche is paid, the other payments follow quickly thereafter. Camp staff would therefore have been paid in three installments – the first payment at the end of week two of the camps, the second payment at the end of week four, and the final payment at the end of week five. Unfortunately, the traditional payment pattern had to be altered because of the disbursement mechanisms of the new funding source, which fall outside the Ministry’s ambit,” he said.
Apologising for the delay in processing oustanding payments, the minister said all the facilities were now in place to ensure that the outstanding payments would be speedily processed.
Lashley assured camp staff that as soon as payments were ready, they would be individually contacted and given the date and time when their cheques could be collected.
The National Summer Camps programme was held from July 14 to August 15, one week short of the previously obtained six week summer programme.