The rumblings have once again started over the availability and access to the most precious commodity in Jamaican sports: grandstand tickets for the final day of Boys and Girls’ Championships. The discourse has now reached ridiculous proportions with the recent proposal by the past student bodies of top high schools – Calabar, Kingston College, and Jamaica College – launching a formal lobby for a bigger portion of the premium, final-day grandstand tickets to be made available to them. This, to my mind, is a most obnoxious, contentious, and unprincipled proposal. Equity and fairness have been thrown into the garbage, as KC, Calabar, and JC typically seek to feather their own selfish nests. The so-called ‘three the hard way’ are trying to make the case that they spend a combined total of over $40 million in preparing their teams for the marquee event, which, invariably, is won by one of the big three, thus their claim of entitlement for preferential treatment. The arrogance went up a notch with the sly reminder by the ‘cartel’ that Champs would not be the same without Calabar, KC, and JC – with no regard for the fundamental fact that Champs is still a national amateur high-school event. The situation is what it is as it relates to the overwhelming demand for grandstand final-day Champs tickets, and that situation will not change anytime soon. The capacity of the grandstand is less than 5,000, with approximately half of those seats allocated to sponsors, special guests, media, etc. So, in reality, there will be tens of thousands of people chasing less than 3,000 premier grandstand Super Saturday tickets. Certainly, allocating more of those limited tickets to ‘select schools’ cannot be the way to go for the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA). Outside of allowing the overwhelming demand to dictate the price of the grandstand tickets, which would probably push the price up to an exorbitant level, ISSA must remain cognisant of the fact that Champs remains a mere high-school event. Under the less-than-perfect circumstances, the limited tickets should continue to be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. That is simply the fairest method of allocation. WHAT NEXT? Following the principle of the ‘three the hard way’ proposal to its logical conclusion, it would not be long before the suggestion comes that only past or current students of the top contenders and the big spenders and recent Champs, winners KC, Calabar, and JC will be welcome inside the grandstand and eventually inside the entire stadium. I suspect that the erudite and principled leadership of ISSA will pay very scant regard to the proposal of what must now be more appropriately known as ‘three the snobbish and arrogant way’. The sending of the right messages of fairness, justice, equality, and transparency must be of utmost importance as it relates to a high-school event. The principle must remain where no students or past students of any particular school should be more entitled to a seat in the grandstand on the final day of Champs than the students or past students of any other school. I sincerely hope that after burning in the fields for so long in order to build Boys and Girls’ Champs into an international spectacle of the highest reputation, that on this particular issue of principle, ISSA will neither fall nor yield.
Health workers of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Nimba County have begun mounting tension on the Hospital administration for salary arrears.On Thursday, May 15, the health workers assembled at the administrative building, carrying placards and demanding their salaries for the month of April.The health workers, including nurses, cleaners, securities and those representing other departments were seen very disappointed over the failure of the administration to pay them for the month of April.Inscriptions on some of the placards read, “No pay on Friday, no job on Monday; the dry leave is falling, warning to green leaves; April is crying warning to May.”“We are tired waiting for a long time because we received patients every day. The administration cannot tell us that there is no money,” Alphonso Genseh, vice president of the worker’s union said.“This is only awareness. The real action begins on Monday if they don’t pay us tomorrow, May 16,” he added.The demonstrators appeared distressed and disappointed.Ma Manee Moore, a cleaner said, some of them are earning “very little” and that little was not forth coming from the hospital’s administrators. She wondered how their employers expected them to support their families.The Associate Administrator of the Hospital Mr. Patrick Martor told the aggrieved workers to bear patience as the administration was doing everything to settle their arrears.“As we speak, the hospital is faced with financial constraint and what we have cannot take care of what we owed you,” he said.“Most of the institutions that owe us money are not paying, and we ourselves owed many entities. We cannot pay them because there is no money,” he added.According to Mr. Martor, he convened a meeting with the aggrieved workers and displayed all documents including financial record about income and expenditure.Since the beginning of this year, Ganta Hospital has been facing serious financial crisis.People have over the time been complaining of poor financial management at the hospital; allegation the associate administrator denied during the time he was appealing to the aggrieved workers.He told this paper that one of their partners abroad (Global Ministry) had cut down its support to the hospital and asking the hospital to close down some departments.He didn’t name those departments that should be shut down, but added, “How can we cut down departments when we do not have the first cent to pay our staff.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)