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Not everyone wants to be the boss … some of us just want to survive and be happy


Not everyone wants to be the boss … some of us just want to survive and be happy

Frustrated with my job?
Annoyed by my superiors?
Unsatisfied with my salary? ..kinda

I am a 32 year old male employee at a locally owned IT company. This job has been my only job since leaving school and I’ve been permanent for almost 11 years now.


My highest educational achievement is an undergrad degree and my yearly earnings is under 140K before taxes and deductions.


I am married, my wife also works and we have an infant baby. I consider myself to be somewhat contented with my current job, this is not meant to say that there isn’t room for improvement. I have not actively sought out other job opportunities for as long as I can remember.

My resume has not been updated in over 5 years.


I think i’m mostly comfortable in my current job because of the niche position I am in where I am not responsible for a department but I still don’t have a supervisor or manager over my head.

Sometimes this makes me feel out of place like I don’t belong to any department but other times I’m happy it is the way it is. I’m respected by most of the other employees because of my knowledge and experience but I’m also harassed for help often by those same employees.


My monthly earning is probably my only issue.. Like who wouldn’t like more money?


But I believe the extra income I wish I earned is modest as it simply allows for a more comfortable simple life that I envision.


A life where I can pay a mortgage for a simple future home, pay the bills and maybe, just maybe get to put aside something towards a family vacation.


I also value my personal time. I often wonder about trying to get some extra income aside from my job but the time I would have to put towards that would take away all the little time I get to relax in the evenings.


Am I wrong for feeling this way? This is totally opposite to the “be your own boss” goals that the professional world encourages.


I simply want to work my 8-4, earn a good salary, and go home to play with my baby or watch tv.

This article was submitted to us by an employee. Can you relate to what he’s saying? Tell us in the comments below.

Do you have an article that you would like featured? Email up at


SalariesTT Team


Managing Stress At Your Job With Yoga

Managing Stress At Your Job With Yoga


We can all agree that the office can be stressful. While your first thoughts might be to burn down the office building or stab your colleague in the throat, you might just want to take the mature route.



Well here is a thought, how about yoga. We teamed up with Enchanted Power Yoga Fitness to learn yoga postures that can be easily done at your desk.


Chair Cat Cow Stretch




From your office chair, sit with your spin stretched. Place both feet on the floor. Inhale. As you do so arch your back. Look up. Push your belly forward and shoulder backward.

Exhale. As you do this round your spine. Bring your shoulder forward and look down.


Seated Crescent Moon Pose



Lift your arms above your head. Lean to one side and take a few breaths. Then lean to the other side and take a few breaths. This pose would clear your head and improve your focus.


Chair Pigeon Pose


Place one leg over the next at a 90o angle. Hold your knee with both hands then turn your upper body. Keep this pose for a few breaths then switch sides.


How do you manage stress at your job? Tell us in the comments below. Tag a friend that gets super stressed out at work. For professional yoga classes visit Enchanted Power Yoga Fitness.


Salaries TT Team


5 Advice Your Trini Dad Gave You About Your Career


5 Advice Your Trini Dad Gave You About Your Career

If you’re lucky to have a Trinbagonian dad, he probably gave you advice about your career in his local colloquial tongue.

1. Gopaul luck eh Seepaul luck

In life and in the workplace not everyone would have the same opportunities. And similarly what your colleague would ‘get away with’ in work, you would not ‘get away with’.

2. Common sense make before book sense

Not all the knowledge that you need for your job comes from formal learning. Lessons from your informal schooling can take you very far in the workplace.

3. Don’t shit wey yuh does eat

In the workplace it’s not a good idea to mix business with pleasure. What dad means here is don’t date anyone from your office, or don’t ‘lime’ with your boss.

4. Wey horse reach jackass does reach… and pass

Don’t study who more qualified than you or who knows the job better than you. You can beat the odds and become even more successful than that person.

5. Fire de wuk – Quit a job.

And our favourite ‘fire de wuk’ .. time to quit your job.

What advice have your dad given to you about money and your career? Tell us in the comments below.

Salaries TT Team


Employees asked Akilah Phillip, Attorney-At-Law 10 questions


Ask Akilah, Attorney-At-Law

As employees we’re faced with situations at work that we really want to get some legal advice on, but don’t know where to begin or who to turn to. In most instances we perceive the cost of consulting with a lawyer to be something quite expensive. SalariesTT wants to help employees find the answers to these questions. We launched a Q&A session where members submitted questions on employee law. We’re super excited to have teamed up with Akilah Phillip and the LTIP team, to answer your questions.

Akilah Phillip is an Attorney At Law with more than 11 years experience in practice. She has worked in various aspects of the legal field from Corporate, Criminal to Intellectual Property.

Ms. Phillip has engaged in extensive contract negotiation throughout her legal career and worked closely with many Human Resource Departments. She has conducted several internal tribunal hearings and is intimately familiar with the procedure for settling employee disputes.

Ms. Phillip is currently in private practice where she specialises in Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property, however she continues to assist clients with other grievances based on her wide range of legal expertise. She is also the founder and CEO of LTIP.

Can you return to a job after being dismissed?

3Yes, you can return to a job after being dismissed. This is within your employer’s discretion what new terms and conditions they may seek to re-employ you under.


Can an employer promote an employee making $6000.00 to three levels and only increase their pay to $7500.00. Then hire a new employee to the same position with salary of $12000.00?

The employer can certainly employ someone in a similar position with a new salary after having another employee in that position. Promotions and compensations are discretionary within the company. The payment figure used for employees is often based on industry standards, experience and qualifications. The facts do not reveal what experience or qualifications the new employee will be bringing to the work environment which may justify an increased salary raise. Those factors will have to be evaluated equitably to determine if there is discrimination.

I’m a supervisor at the company I work for. The HR policy says that supervisors are not entitled to overtime pay. I was promoted to this position and aware of the HR policy when I accepted the position. However, I am chastised by my employer whenever I refuse to work overtime. Can my employer insist that I work the extra hours?

Woman in computer room sleeping

An employee cannot be forced to work outside of the stipulated mandatory working hours as provided for in the the Minimum Wages Act Chap 88:04. The employer can have an HR policy for how overtime will be paid and the company’s provisions that give further clarification.

However, the company ought not to compel the employee to work outside of the stipulated period where the employee has indicated their unwillingness to do so. This must be taken in context where in some situations for example security personnel may agree to work hours that extend beyond the stipulated times. In these circumstances they are paid the overtime rate.

An employee should document all grievances in writing and forward it to the employer. Following this correspondence the employee can refer the matter to the Ministry of Labour.

When seeking to develop policies for an organisation such as Sexual Harassment, what are the critical things to consider?

shutterstock_510560002A company will have to clearly define what amounts to sexual harassment.

This can be done by reviewing employees’ job descriptions and identifying situations that employees may be required to work closely that will not amount to a violation of the company’s policy.

The company should identify how each report of sexual harassment will be dealt with. This may involve an investigation period; this time period should be explicitly stated. The policy should also indicate how the investigation will be conducted and who the report will be submitted to.

The company can also decide to hold an internal hearing to allow the accused person a due form of natural justice. This allows the employee to gather their own evidence and possibly have persons testify on their behalf.

The company should identify the procedure to follow thereafter once they are satisfied that a violation has occurred e.g. (payment of outstanding benefits, delivery of the company’s finding with sufficient time for acknowledgement etc.)

I’ve been trying to land a job in Trinidad for the last year. My question is this. Is there a law in Trinidad that prevents employers from employing non-Trinidadian persons who are not residing in the country unless there are no local personnel to fill the position?

There is no law that prevents an employer from hiring non-Trinidadian persons. Employers have on many occasions hired persons outside of Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) Certificate allows free movement of services within the Caribbean region. You should consider if you reside in one of the CSME countries.

Citizens of CSME states who meet certain criteria can apply for a Certificate of Recognition of CARICOM Skills Qualification that allows them to work in any CSME member state. Do you fall within the category of skilled workers?

If you are working for a flat gross salary of $15000.00 per month, how much money is deducted for PAYE and how is it calculated to arrive at that figure

The first $6000.00 you earn is nontaxable. It’s your personal allowance. That leaves you with $9,000.00. Your income tax rate is 25%. 25% of $9,000.00 leaves you with a P.A.Y.E of $2250.00.

Can your employer prohibit you from joining a trade union?

An employer cannot prevent an employee from joining a trade union. This is guaranteed by Section 71 of the Industrial Relations Act 1972:

Every worker as between himself, his employer and co-workers shall have the following rights, that is to say:

a) The right to be a member of any trade union or any number of trade unions of his choice;
b) The right not to be a member of any trade union or other organisation of workers or to refuse to be a member of any particular trade union or other organisations of workers;
c) Where he a member of a trade union, the right, subject to this Act, to take part in activities of trade union (including any activities as or with a view to becoming an official of trade union) and (if appointed or elected) to hold office as such an official.

My staff views sick leave as an entitlement and they all aim to use all 14 days with most of them exceeding the limit by mid year. Can I issue warning letters for excessive sick leave without any repercussion especially since it is a unionised organization?

930If the employee exceeds the sick leave by mid-year and therefore has no more sick leave remaining the employer is within their rightful authority to issue a warning letter for absentia.

However, if the employee is abusing the sick leave and taking more than the permitted two days sick leave on a weekly basis or the sick leave frequently coincides around a long weekend and exceeds the two days, the employer can issue a warning letter.

The employer will have to document the fact that no medical certificate was submitted or that one was falsely tendered. The Employer can also lodge a complaint with the Medical Board where there is suspicion of a false certificate and request an independent evaluation.

A warning letter should only be issued where the employer can prove that the employee has abused the entitlement to sick days and has provided no documentary evidence. Prematurely issuing a warning letter can expose the company to liability.

My company regularly fires staff effective immediately for poor performance, however they do this without any prior notice or warnings given to to the employee. The company will also offer them a severance payment upon their dismissal. Is it legal for an employer to fire an employee without prior notice/warning? Also, how is severance pay determined?

Yes, an employee shall have the right to answer any allegations made against him and respond to such charges. The legal principle of natural justice dictates that the proper steps and procedures are taken before an employee is terminated.

In some companies tribunal hearings occur and the employee is afforded the right of representation of his choice. This can take the form of a Union representative or an Attorney. There should be proper documentation presented to the employee of all facts related to the matter that they are being accused of. Employees can also visit the Conciliation Unit of the Ministry of Labour where they can obtain advice about their employer’s actions. All matters after internal review are then referred to the Ministry; therefore an employee can opt to get guidance prior to undergoing the process.

Severance is determined by the employee first being classified as a “worker” the employee must meet the worker standard to be considered for severance benefits. According to the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act 1985 as amended 45 days noticed is required for the severance package. Section 18 of the Act lays out the provisions for the package and consideration of whether there is a Collective Agreement are factors to be determined. The calculation is done on a pro rata basis for the period of the employee’s service.

Is it legal for a Borough Corporation to acquire a facility and keep all the staff of the facility and have them all on continuous contract employment since 2013 with no break in service (only twice they broke service in 2014). Persons have been working for the same salary since 2007. The previous management had the facility since 2007. The Borough Corporation acquire the facility in October 2013

An employee can continue with contract employment with no break in service legally. This will not convert the employee’s status to permanent. However, where employed by the State there are guidelines from the Chief Personnel Officer and Director of Personnel Administration which provides that after a year of continuous contract employment an employee can be entitled to sick leave, vacation and gratuity retroactively.


What situation did you have to dealt with at your job? How was it handled? Tell us in the comments below. If you like this article or you like what we’re doing share with your friends and colleagues.


Salaries TT Team


I Love My Job with Kemba Nefertiti Jaramogi

I Love My Job with Kemba Nefertiti Jaramogi

I would listen to my friends and colleagues, and just like me there is the everyday vent … basically about hating their jobs. Not just the regular ‘I Hate Mondays’ memes, but actual full on rants!I could tell you now by 10:00 am this Tuesday Luke is going to message the group chat to sayMy boss is such ah …’. Actually I probably should not quote Luke. Of course I’m sure to respond to the chat with something like ‘OMG !! mine just requested two additional reports by 2:00 pm today  .


So you get my point. It is very rare that you meet people that genuinely love their jobs.


It’s because of this, SalariesTT set out on a long and arduous search for someone of the sort, with the objective of motivating and inspiring our readers. It’s during this quest that we discovered Kemba Nefertiti Jaramogi !!!


Kemba is an environmentalist who focuses on transforming lives through environmental educational programmes. We sat down for a one on one with her. Read on.


Q: Who is Kemba?Fondes Amandes

My name is Kemba Jaramogi and I am the Technical Director here at Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project. I spend a lot of time working on an education outreach programme; schools, primary, tertiary education. I studied International Development with NGO Management.


Q: What aspect of your job do you absolutely love doing?

At Fondes Amandes we do a lot of different things. We have modules. We focus on different types of research projects, education awareness projects. We have things like forest fire prevention where we do community outreach and we do work with students. We try to teach people laws, responsible actions in the garden, around the home. So that is always exciting because a lot of people are not aware of the laws in Trinidad with regards to forest fire prevention. So that is something exciting and interesting.

I am also a trained Fire Fighter by the Fire Services for forest fires. I like to teach the skill as well as when I have to go out in the field and help to manage the team.

One of the things we do here is organic farming. All our seedlings for our reforestation activities are harvest here, the seedlings are set in our organic nursery and then it is planted out in the hills for reforestation. The tree species are mixed. You hear a lot of birds in the background. So you have a lot of fruit bearing trees. Trees that have seeds.

You create that habitat for wild life. So that is always exciting to see a tree start to bear. There are a lot of exciting things.


Also looking at the ecotourism aspect of it. Finding a middle group between education as oppose to doing the ecotourism aspect of it. Where people could just come and enjoy the space, enjoy a walk, go to the river, have a nice time. So because the work is so multi-crown there are so many things to be excited about all the time.



Q: What inspires you to get up each morning and pursue your passion?

What inspires someone to do this kind of work. Because it’s not entirely gratifying when it comes to rewards financially. But sometimes when you decide to take up a cause that is left unattended or not many people in the field to address these types of issues, then you know you’re not wasting your time. And also at the end of every session, workshop, student exchange, you name it, people are then further inspired by the work that you do. And hopefully along the line we would have a generation that is coming up to kind of make that change … baby steps. Whether it is looking at having a more sustainable household, in term of the usage of materials, lights, electricity, what not.


It is also tied into something that my parents started. My dad passed away 23 years this year. It’s a bit emotional yes. I do believe that somebody has to carry on this type of legacy and I really love what I do. I do believe in preserving that side of the legacy to see that work continued. To not have all this work that is done gone up in smoke. It’s something I want to see continued and happening throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Everybody just enjoying the natural environment and keeping it great.

Q: Have you encountered challenges reaching this point in your career?

… There were challenges. Firstly being a young woman and trying to teach grown men how to fight fires. That whole gender role and looking at something that is a typically male dominated field. That was one of the obstacles I had to go about.


Having to help take care of siblings, and then find your career and then balance your social life was also something. You know you’re always trying to find the middle ground as a young person. A party going on but you have to stay and do work. And trying to find purpose.

If it’s meaningful then at the end of the day you feel gratified. It’s not so tedious or difficult.

One of my biggest challenges when I was studying abroad. I had challenges with finances after my scholarship fell through because of the financial crisis. A lot of people were like ‘You know, just come back home’. But I was like ok I’m doing this for myself, let me struggle, raise funds and really see that part of my career finish.

To make sure that I have that stability in terms of education and everybody likes paperwork to go with it.

At every point that I seem to go forwards there is always something that would try to hinder a process. And then going straight into Project Development and Research and looking to do new things to develop this NGO here at Fondes Amandes, different initiatives, funding is always an issue. Funding for salary, funding for resource material, funding for additional staff.

So sometimes it becomes overbearing yes but then sometimes we have really amazing volunteers and it just lifts your spirit because you’re like ok I thought I was alone in this world here and then you have amazing volunteers come along and support you.



Q: What is the best advise that you ca give someone that is unhappy in their career?

Seek some sort of enlightenment or enjoyment. It starts with you.Often it has a party and someone reaches to the party and they’re like ‘This party dead man’. And then there is a person like me, who would walk into the party and say ‘This party  dead man’ but I done start to dance and liven up the party. Sometimes it’s an issue of energy. It have a lot of people who wait to feed off of people energy and to have that enjoyment sort of brought towards them, they don’t work for it.

So if you find yourself unfulfilled but you need that security in terms of income, find something to do after work. Find a course. There are so many courses in Trinidad. There are so many people that need help. There are so many people that can simply do with counselling sessions. Sometimes people just need a buddy. Sometimes an old people home can just do with somebody coming to help out in the evening. An NGO like this, we would want volunteers.

So it’s just about seeing what you are passionate about and just giving of yourself.

A lil two hours a week. Just reach out to groups and find some cause that you are passionate about.

Q: What’s next, where can we see Kemba Jaramogi in the future?

One of the things that I see in the future, both for me and Fondes Amandes is just continuous development … Once you are enlightened and once that enlightenment encourages action, that is the kind of change I want to see.

Do you love your job? Tell us why in the comments below.

Salaries TT Team


Christmas bonus! What to do and not to do

It’s already late November and it’s also a bit too late to impress your boss for a christmas bonus. If you were winning at your job all year then you’re most likely in for a nice fat bonus. But if you’re like the majority of us then your bonus this year is just going to be just ‘ight’ … if yuh get one..
What not to do with your bonus:

1. Do not waste it on carnival fetes


Every year the Carnival season seems to begin earlier and earlier. And this year it’s no different. As things get swinging late December, you would find that coincidentally you have money to pump. Don’t! It’s a trap! Set a limit for the number of fetes you would like to attend next year. Chat with your crews to see which fetes they are hitting. A decent count of 3 parties can set you at a good budget of $TT1500.00 … not including a new outfit.


2. Do not feel the need to shower every man jack with a gift


Create a list of the names of the people you usually purchase gifts for and keep revising that list. Eliminate anyone you have not seen or interacted with since the ham finished last Christmas (obviously this doesn’t include your parents).

For those that didn’t make the cut, organise a group gift exchange.

You basically want to play the recession card. Get creative with your gift ideas, not everything has to be purchased on amazon.


3. Say no to small purchases


It’s easy for a few thousands of dollars to disappear from your christmas bonus and leave you wondering where your money went. It probably went in an accumulation of small, low budget and probably unnecessary purchases. Small purchases can range from that $TT100.00 lunch just because you’re balling or dinner with the boo at Luce. Be careful, it’s a creeper.
What to do with your bonus:

1. Make large purchases


Purchase that stereo set you’ve been eyeing all year. Make a down-payment on a new vehicle. Whatever you spend it on be sure that you can account for most of it come Ash Wednesday.


2. Pay a significant bill


Put it to your mortgage. To your vehicle loan. Even a school loan. Be careful about paying off your credit card. If you didn’t manage your credit card this year you are probably not going to manage it next year.


3. Don’t spend it


Save your entire bonus. You can use your basic salary to purchase Christmas gifts and enjoy the festive season.


4. Live a little


Set a reasonable percentage of your bonus that’s just for you to have fun with. After all you worked all year, what the heck.
How did you spend your Christmas bonus last year? How do you plan to spend it this year? Leave us a comment below to let us know.
SalariesTT Team


5 Tips To Winning At Your Job In Trinidad And Tobago

5 Tips To Winning At Your Job In Trinidad And Tobago

I was venting to a friend a few days ago about my office woes when she said to me “Girl I learn tuh shut up long time”. This came as a surprise to me because in my gut I always felt that things would get better if I kept quiet and kept to myself, but I didn’t realise that other logical thinking people felt the same way. So I began thinking, why are my colleagues promoted over me. How do they win at their jobs and keep winning.


1. Shut your mouth

Winning Shut Your Mouth

Learn to shut your trap despite how passionate you feel about a topic at the office. If you are an extrovert like me and find a compulsive need to say everything that comes to mind, this may be a hard pill to swallow.

Wait what! Your company switched from Blue Waters to filtered water. Do not make this a talking point at the lunch table. Simply adapt and start bringing your own darn water supply.

So your boss is making yet another dumb decision on that million dollar project that you manage. Well let him. Don’t explicitly agree with him but leave him to make his mistake. If you do open your mouth he would see this as an attempt to challenge him.

Or is it that you believe that your colleague would perform better at their job if they were trained. Stop. You are not an Avenger. Do not fight battles for your colleagues. If you follow this tip you would soon find that you wouldn’t even have to fight battles for yourself.

PS. General staff meetings are neither the time nor the place for you to make valuable recommendations to improve the efficiency and profitability of your company or staff moral. Zip it and listen. Have zero concerns about anything.


2. Play dumb

Don’t let your boss discover that you are smarter than him.

You can earn a few extra points by leading your boss to an idea rather than presenting the idea yourself. This takes some degree of skill, as in the end your boss must believe that it was his original thought or decision. Try using a suggestive voice. For instance, let’s say that you believe the team is overdue for another status update meeting. Say to your boss “When was the last meeting?”. Act clueless if you have to. Instinctively he would decide that another meeting is due and schedule such.

It’s also a good idea to repeat but rephrase what was said to you. Although your inner being understands clearly the scenario presented, quickly assimilate this information given to you and present it as if it were a new concept. For instance, someone on the team says “Software testing and verification is 100% completed”. Say to the team “So we can now move to the next phase?” I have seen top level Managers do this often and they are thought to be attentive and analytical.

If you are already doing this then you are already on your way to winning.


3. Kiss A$$

So your boss likes CPL. Well guess who else loves CPL.

Honestly, I have seen co-workers that kiss a$$ and are promoted much faster than the hardworking Joe. You have to push your pride aside and get the kissing.

You need to make your boss a priority. I’m not saying to make him coffee, but help perpetuate their delusion that their position demands respect.

Going out for lunch? Stop by your boss’s office and ask if he needs lunch as well.

Volunteer for the next assignment rather than waiting to be assigned.

You basically want to feed you boss’s ego.


4. Friend-up and Network

Like it or not you have to start friending-up with people. The simple truth is if management likes you, you would be promoted and more so if you have the work ethic and qualifications to justify the promotion. If management does not like you you would not be promoted end of story.

During my first three years at my current company I received a promotion each year. The title I held after three years took my other team members seven and ten years to acquire (acquire not achieve). My peers would tell me that management favours me. Being as young and naive as I was, I was winning at my job and didn’t realize it. But guess what though I wasn’t kissing butt or friending-up or shutting my mouth. I always had something to say, some concern of the sort and the winning stopped.

I work with mid level managers who at Christmas time sends an email to senior management to say thank you for the bonus. And get this, they cc the entire staff! These same mid level managers would also go to church and Sunday brunch with senior management.

If you don’t have a friend in management, start friending-up young grasshopper.


5. Qualifications don’t mean squat.

If you are Trinbagonian or even Caribbean you were thought to do well at CXC, A’levels then get a fancy UWI degree. Well oh boy, your formal education means very little after you have acquired the job. The question is can you add value to the organisation.

The faster you understand this the faster you would start winning at your job. Yes, the Tanty at your office 20 years now without tertiary education would continue to be promoted and earn more than you do. The reason for this is simple, they got experience, they know the job.
Opps, I almost forgot, as a bonus tip ‘Dress Up! Look Nice’. This may sound ridiculous but I have found that I get a better response from my colleagues when I ‘dress up’. So ladies leave your hair down, fix your makeup, do your eye brows, fellas shave, wear a nice jacket.
Leave us a commenting below letting us know if you agree or disagree. What tips do you have for getting a promotion?

Salaries TT Team