ERC Staff members could be paid for May.
Workers attached to the ethnic relations commission are expected to be paid their may salaries sometime this week but after that, it is unclear what will become of their employment with the constitutional body which has been left with a $1 dollar budget following cuts by the opposition parties in parliament.
The ERC had been provided with funds to cover its costs before the budget was passed and that 1 dollar allocation became a reality. So what the commission is now looking to see is how much money may has been left back from those funds. Whatever is found is what could be used for the payment of salaries for this month. however from the month of june the erc is facing possible closure until there is some agreement for its funding and a supplementary budget put in place. The opposition has said it is willing to support a supplementary budget for the erc once the body is properly constituted.
There have been several questions raised about the current legality of the commission. The opposition had taken issue with a decision by former president bharrat jagdeo who extended the life of the commission without any consultation.
That had always been a sticky issue in the last parliament. Just yesterday the former head of the erc who is now the minister in the ministry of finance said the future of the body is uncertain since there is nothing that could be done by the government to fund the commission and it has no way of surviving on its own. A number of employees from the erc had met with the leader of the two opposition parties with a hope of at least being given part of the 99 million dollar budget allocation. Capitol news understands that just about half of that covers the salaries for the staff of the commission for the year.