THAT’S IT, I QUIT!
An apparent imbalance in the real benefits of the increasingly popular Eastern Caribbean Copyright Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO), leaning heavily towards its hierarchy, has forced the resignation of one its most seasoned directors: Ian Sanchez. He confirmed his departure from the organisation’s executive on Wednesday, citing several problems, in particular his relationship with general manager, Steve Etienne.
Ian Sanchez served on the board of Hewanorra Musical Society, presently ECCO, for over ten years. He also worked as a sales executive for the organisation for over five years. Citing the chain of events that led to his resignation, Sanchez said it began in April of this year when Etienne made a bid for a wage increase and a title change to Chief Executive Officer.
The wage increase of 2%, rather than the 5% tabled by Etienne, was shot down outright due to obvious financial restrictions, along with the proposed change of job title.
But the shocker, according to Sanchez, came on July 21 when “despite the absence of four directors including myself, a publisher director, a board meeting was held.
“High on the agenda was again the increase of salary for the general manager and also the change of title.”
Previous to that meeting, Sanchez pointed out, numerous attempts had been made to have finance committee meetings to bring these same two issues to the fore.
“At this same ECCO Board meeting, on July 21, 2016,” Sanchez claims, “ECCO directors voted unanimously to approve a 26% salary increase for the general manager retroactive to January 2016. The board also handed the general manager the title he sought.”
Three Saint Lucian directors and three island directors were reportedly present at this meeting. What is more, the decision came mere weeks ahead of the ECCO Annual General Meeting set to take place today, Saturday.
Sanchez’s challenge is that the stunning wage increase must be taken in context with real benefits to the hardworking ECCO members in Saint Lucia and throughout the Caribbean who receive royalties once annually.
Bringing this context to the fore, Sanchez revealed that in 2015 ECCO Saint Lucia members received an EC$62,000 payout, which was shared among 164 members. According to Sanchez only 109 of these members received a little more than EC$50, while 55 received less than EC$50. ECCO Saint Lucia has over 300 registered members which means over 100 members were left emptyhanded. .
The ECCO AGM will take place at 10.00 a.m. today at the 1st Floor Conference Room of the CSA Centre, Sans Soucis Castries, Saint Lucia.
Who of these two, Ian Sanchez (left) and Steve Etienne, will have the bigger smile at the end of the ECCO AGM later today?