Grotto staff crying for salaries

Community Hostel Inc-Grotto Home
Community Hostel Inc-Grotto Home-Photos by Carlisle Jno Baptiste of Nature Isle News (NIN) All Rights Reserved

Staff at the Community Hostel Inc also known as “Grotto” are crying for help as they are not being paid their monthly salaries and yet continue to work.

According to the staff at the institution, while families were having a good time enjoying ham and turkey during the Christmas of 2021, they could not do the same since they were not paid.

“We are struggling to eat, we have a family, and it seems that no one cares about us,” one staff told Nature Isle News (NIN).

President of the Grotto Ainsworth Irish in an exclusive interview with NIN confirmed the payment struggle and explained that he is doing all he can to get them paid.

“In truth and in fact it’s no secret, the January salary was late, and we also scrapped to pay them their December salary which we did in two tranches,” Irish said.

But when staff thought that things were going to get better, they did not because for the past two months they are still waiting to be paid.

“It’s chaotic, we are working and not getting any salaries at the end of the month and Irish just keep talking and making no effort to ensure that we get paid,” another staff stated.

“We have asked the government several times to take over the Grotto, but they have asked us for financial statements and that is where we are at the moment,” Irish revealed.

According to him, (Irish) Government gives an annual subvention of $65,000.00 plus a monthly $5,400.00 paupers allowance, but we need about $225,000.00 annually to run the operations of the Grotto. I must also tell you that from time to time we do get donors, so we raise about $25,000.00 on our own,” he posited.

Irish stated that after Hurricane Maria and the COVID pandemic, the amount being received from donors has “significantly dwindled.”

“We don’t have a full complement of the Board, trying to have AGM’s and is a drawback, I am thinking of pulling out from that, I am retired, and should be enjoying my retirement but have to be losing sleep to figure out how to pay staff that taking care of 40 destitute people, remember people are not paying, one or two might bring a contribution.”

“All we are asking is for a little $400.00 a month to help the situation, at the infirmary, you have to pay $1,500.00, and the other places $3,500.00 a month they are not paying,” he said.

He said the situation is “frustrating” coupled with the fact that he is yet to receive a treasurer’s report.

Linda Gonzales Peltier is the treasurer of the Grotto, NIN reached out to her for comments on the situation. “I will not say anything on the matter…God will clear all of us, this is voluntary service, and Irish need to do his part,” she said.

While all that drama is going on, the staff at the Grotto continues to suffer and remains without a salary.

Find attached an exclusive interview by NIN with Ainsworth Irish president of the Grotto.-