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Labour Tribunal Back in Action in Turks and Caicos

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 18, 2020 — The Labour Tribunal was established under the Employment Ordinance Section 93 and was given jurisdiction to hear and determine any Labour disputes or complaints; and is expected to discharge its statutory functions in accordance with the Employment Ordinance.  The Labour Tribunal welcomed the new President, Mrs. M. Doreen Quelch Missick, Attorney at Law on 2nd January 2020. The Tribunal was without a legally constituted body since the law was amended in March 2018.

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The in-coming President, in an effort to get the Tribunal back on track and fully functioning, immediately put plans in action for the review of the existing backlog of cases, and undertook critical steps in assessing the backlog and put plans in place to move forward for new and pending cases at the various stages of deliberations. Introductory meetings were held and expectations outlined, an orientation meeting was later held for all newly appointed members who received their appointments in August 2019. It was an honour to have the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Anya Williams present to give brief congratulatory remarks during the orientation.

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On February 4th a full day of Training for all members were conducted with a focus on the Employment Ordinance, discussing their individual role, duties, responsibilities and expectations of Members.

The Labour Tribunal is grateful for those who continue to offer their services to the Tribunal and by extension to the Turks and Caicos Islands and welcome all members and am indeed proud of the caliber, experience and strengths all members bring.  We are happy to introduce the following Members of the Tribunal whose appointment is for a period of two (2) years: –

Mr. Vernon Alco Williams of Providenciales has served in the public and private sector as Superintendent of Police of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

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Mr. Edward Hall of North Caicos has served as Commissioner of Police, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Bishop Samuel Williams of Providenciales has 30 years of service in the public and private sectors in various fields, particularly in Electronics and Communications.

Mr. Michael Pereira of Providenciales, a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public and retired Clerk of Courts and Bailiff of the Supreme Court.

Dr. Beatrice Fulford of Grand Turk, an Educator has served in various positions in the public sector – Chairman of the Public Service Commission, and former Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education.

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Mrs. Noreane Williams-McKoy, of South Caicos is an Educator and a Justice of the Peace. She is a Champion for persons with special needs and is a member of the District Board, South Caicos and the Parole Board.

Ms. Rosa Maria Clare, of South Caicos is an Educator who has served over forty years in the public service.  She presently serves on various Boards and is active in community service.

Mrs. Irene Glinton of Providenciales has experience in the private sector, serving in various Administrative roles.  She presently serves as Secretary to the Turks and Caicos Islands Electricity Board.

Mrs. Judy Missick of Providenciales has worked over 30 years in the private sector in administrative fields and Human Resource Management.  She is an ordained Minister of the Gospel and is a part of various social and community groups.

The Labour Tribunal staff members include Mrs. Winifred Stubbs, Administrative Officer, Mrs. Lucille Campbell, Labour Tribunal Secretary, Ms. Alice Williams, Tribunal Officer and Ms. Adriana Handfield, Clerical Assistant.

Recognizing that the Labour Tribunal has been without a President since August 2017, however, the staff under the leadership of the then Vice President, Mr. Vernon Alco Williams continued to perform the statutory functions of the Tribunal.  President Missick commended the former Vice President and staff for their work and reminded the team of the important role of the Labour Tribunal and its functions. The Labour Tribunal, in seeking redress for employment disputes will endeavor to dispense its rulings in a fair, just and timely manner in accordance with the law.

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The President, staff and members look forward to serving the people throughout the country and is pleased to let the public know that all inhabited islands now have member representation on the Labour Tribunal. We look forward to the return of the weekly radio program via RTC in our efforts to reach out and inform the public, employees and employers of their rights under the Employment Ordinance, their rights under other International Workers Rights Instruments to include the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other International Human Rights Conventions. We look forward to visiting North, Middle and South Caicos and to re-establish its presence in Grand Turk and for the re-opening of the Labour Tribunal Office by March 1st.

The Tribunal looks forward to working internally with the Commissioner of Labour and his staff and Labour Inspectors, Immigration and externally with the Clients and Attorneys in an effort to fulfil the statutory functions of the Labour tribunal. We express thanks to the general public for their unwavering support and to the clients for their patience and look forward to working to serve you.

The office hours remain Monday to Thursday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday.  The Office in Grand Turk is located at 3 Degrees Building and in Providenciales in Butterfield Square, Downtown, Providenciales.

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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