DH | Signing legal status of police declared invalid

Police officers’ salaries have not been fixed since 10/10/10, despite several promises made by different ministers of justice, past and present.

PHILIPSBURG–Members of the different labour unions were updated about the approved 2019 budget during an informative meeting on Monday, July 8, held by the unions Nationale Algemene Politie Bond (NAPB), Windward Islands Civil Service Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) and Algemene Bond van Overheidspersoneel (ABVO) for all members.

They were also informed that proper procedures have not been followed in establishing their legal status and function book 2019, which has rendered the symbolic signing of June 3 invalid, a press release from the unions explained.

During the meeting an update was given regarding the recently-held budget debate and what it could mean for members of the Police Force of St. Maarten KPSM. Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison attended the meeting and voluntarily explained in great detail to all members in attendance why he had taken the initiative to make the initiative law authorising government to undertake the sale of St. Maarten’s shares in United Telecommunication Services (UTS).

He explained that this law will ensure and secure the proceeds from the sale of St. Maarten’s 12.5 per cent minority shares of UTS for a number of things, including addressing the salary issues of KPSM members.

Police officers’ salaries have not been fixed since 10/10/10, despite several promises made by different ministers of justice, past and present. Members of the Police Force are being hampered because these salary changes have not been made. The economy of St. Maarten is rapidly growing and safety has played a big role in this, MP Brison said.

An update was also given regarding the “rechtspositie” 2019 to regulate the officers’ legal status and position and the symbolic signing of the legal status and function book (“functieboek”) which took place on June 3, 2019, replacing the legal status 2016.

The unions and stakeholders were informed in a meeting on June 10, 2019, that the minister had not followed the proper procedures before signing the function book and legal status, which rendered the signing invalid. Up to now the minister has not held a proper meeting with the unions to outline what will be his next step, the unions stated in their release.

Union representatives explained that they will continue to enforce the legal position 2016, which has passed all legal channels but was not published in the National Gazette.

“Because of the fact the Rechtpositie 2019, which was made by the minister of justice and his cabinet, was not approved by the different legal channels, the unions are under the impression that the minister of justice is in the process of correcting the errors made by himself and his cabinet,” union representatives said.

The unions and their membership thanked Brison for attending the meeting and taking the time to understand their grievances and be part of the solution.

“These members, despite what they are going through right now, always have continued to protect and serve. But do not take their loyalty for granted. They risk their lives every day … yet nobody cared for them since 2010. Now stop playing games with these people and give them what they deserve and [what is – Ed.] due to them. They earned the public’s respect by staying humble, protect and serve all these years and [they are] still doing it.

“Stop waiting until they are no longer here to give them their raise and promotions. Justice and Education are the most powerful areas in a society, they should never be neglected. These people have humbled themselves for too long and go out there and do a fantastic job that most others do not have the courage to do,” the unions said.

Bron: Daily Herald

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