$800 stipend for panmen
Thursday, December 15 2011
Panmen participating in the 2012 Panorama preliminaries will receive an $800 stipend approved by Cabinet for the last Carnival season.
Pan Trinbago secretary, Richard Forteau said members were told they would be getting the $800 stipend on Tuesday at an extraordinary General Meeting held at the Communication Workers’ Union hall, Henry Street, Port- of-Spain.
Forteau said that paying each panman $200 — to make up the previous $1,000 stipend — cost Pan Trinbago almost $1.6 million — monies representing a large percentage of that collected at the gates during Panorama.
“We are trying to operate without rancour. The country is coming out of a turbulent time and heading into the Christmas and Carnival season, we think the right thing to do as a responsible organisation is not to get into any fight about this.
“However, Pan Trinbago reserves the right to represent pan players when the time for it arises. When the economy improves, we may ask the Government to put back the $200 and ask for more money for our pan players,” he said.
Last year, Government reduced the stipend from $1,000 to $800. Pan Trinbago threatened to boycott Panorama 2011 but eventually resolved to pay each of the 7,600 panmen participating in the competition the extra $200 to make up the original $1,000.
Also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting was the new judging scheme for the Single Pan category of the Panorama competition. From next year, one panel of judges would visit all single pan bands, these bands would qualify for the semi-finals based on their scores, rather than the quota system.
Forteau also said the Arts and Multiculturalism Ministry would continue its grant to unsponsored steel bands.
He also said Panorama preliminaries would take place at judging points in each region rather than at the Queens Park Savannah as was suggested by Arts and Culture Minister Winston Peters last weekend. www.panapparels.com