ECCO Director resignation in protest

Castries, St. Lucia – September 7 th , 2016 – I have served on the board

representing HMS (Hewanorra Musical Society) presently ECCO (Eastern

Caribbean Copyright Organisation for Music Rights) for over ten years. I also

worked as a sales executive for the organization for over 5 years.

At a meeting in April 2016 (I was present) the board took a decision to increase

the salaries of administrative staff members by 2% rather than 5% which was

proposed. The argument was that ECCO could not afford more than that

percentage of increases at that time.

On July 21 st , 2016 despite the absence of 4 Directors including myself, a Publisher

Director, a board meeting was held. High on the agenda was the increase of salary

for the General Manager and also the change of title from General Manager to

Chief Executive Officer. Previous to the meeting numerous attempts had been

made to have Finance Committee meetings, which I was a part of, to bring these

issues to the fore, but they never materialized for one reason or another.

At this same ECCO Board meeting, on 21 st July 2016, present were ECCO Directors,

3 St Lucian Directors and 3 Island Directors, voted unanimously to approve a 26%

salary increase for the General Manager retroactive to January 2016. The board

also changed the title of the General Manager position to Chief Executive Officer.

This decision was taken at the last meeting of the ECCO board before the Annual

General meeting to be held on 10 th September 2016.

This increase in salary has to be taken in context to the benefits of ECCO

members. The only benefits to an ECCO member is once a year is an annual

royalty payment. In 2015 ECCO Saint Lucia members received an EC$62,000

payout of which 164 members shared in that payout. In the payout 109 members

received more than EC$50.00, while 55 members received less than EC$50.00 and

over 100 members received $ 0.00. ECCO Saint Lucia has over 300 members. In

context the annual increase in salary for the General Manager resulted in more

than 30% of the 2015 annual payout for our 164 Saint Lucian members.

The other issue which I have had is the conflict of interest which is prevalent, in

relation to the current Chairman of the Board of ECCO and who also works for

ECCO as the Agent in Dominica. As a result he is supervised by the General

Manager (now CEO) and the CEO also takes directives from the Chairman of the


Our ECCO Chairman McCarthy Marie once said to me “the success of the society

can only be measured by the benefits our members receive.” I am in full

agreement of this statement. In my personal opinion I do not see the benefit to

the membership but only to the hierarchy of the Administration of ECCO. On this

basis I resigned as a director on August 4 th , 2016.

I was asked to serve by ECCO members in the past as a Director and will do so if

asked to serve in the future.