The Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain will be in need of a new supervisor from next 1 April as facility manager Stephen Spence joined the exodus from the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT).
Spence, who joined SPORTT in 2011 and held his current portfolio for the last four and a half years, tendered his resignation today after successfully finding alternative employment. last December, Acting CEO Jason Williams advised all employees to find new jobs as the State-owned company continues to reel from financial shortfalls.
A decade ago, SPORTT had 200 employees on board. At present, there are barely 70 staff left—most on month-to-month contracts—with roughly two dozen departures within the last four months alone.
Earlier this week, SPORTT opted not to renew deals for sport development and performance officers Joel Gibbons, Jonathan Weekes and Nickola Johnson and labourers Adio Cyrus and Francis Lara. Gibbons is a former Trinidad and Tobago national youth footballer.
Accounting office Khrystal-Ann Blackman and Nadia Yearwood-Noel left SPORTT under similar circumstances in February.
Meanwhile, remaining employees have complained anonymously about poor working conditions, the psychological burden of their tenuous job security coupled with being short-staffed and the associated difficulties of monthly contracts, such as problems in accessing financial services like bank loans, mortgages or hire purchase.
SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine has not responded to Wired868’s requests for comment on the state of the company since he succeeded Michael Phillips in mid-2017.
Last Christmas, Williams told staffers that “due to the continued uncertainty surrounding SPORTT’s future, the Company must be both fair and transparent and, as a result, must advise its employees to actively explore alternative employment.”
Spence, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Studies from Jamaica’s University of Technology, has done just that. He follows facility manager Anthony Blake and senior manager facilities maintenance Raj Ramtahal—both were sacked in 2017—through the exit door to leave SPORTT again juggling resources to compensate for the haemorrhage.