Unions protest month old decision on legal positionPOSTED: 08/1/11 1:25 PM
St. Maarten – The National General Police Union St. Maarten, the Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) and ABVO have jointly protested the June 30th approval of legal positions for police officers and civil servants working with the police that dates back to year 2000. The unions did this ahead of a meeting scheduled for Thursday with the Minister of Justice Roland Duncan because the approval does not match the agreement that was made for the unions to be consulted ahead of the approval.
Thursday’s meeting is at the minister’s request. The unions plan to inform him that they are holding on to assurances given prior to country status taking effect on October 10, 2010 that the legal position of their members was assured and that no one would lose any of their benefit, that they expect him to pay overtime in accordance with the international standards and that they want to discuss all outstanding matters.
The unions are especially concerned about the legal positions of police officers, immigration officers and the civil servants working for the police because they’d been promised prior to St. Maarten becoming a country that they would be consulted both ahead of and after the change. The consultation was shifted to after the change of status because of time constraints and the unions were informed that the police, immigration and civil servants will maintain their position until further notice.
The unions say approving the legal position as put forward in the year 2000 strips them of benefits negotiated in 2005 and that entered into force on January 1, 2006.