Dutch company proposes Cola alternative

POSTED: 03/8/13 1:32 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Roland Tuitt has announced that a Holland-based group will be visiting St. Maarten to suggest alternatives to the cost of living adjustment (Cola). Tuitt met with the organization CAOP during his recent visit to the Netherlands.
Based on discussions, the group agreed to visit St. Maarten for three days and will conduct assessments and consultations before preparing a report on the Cola.
During its visit CAOP will meet with various union representatives, employees of the Ministry of General Affairs and other stakeholders.
Once the report is prepared, Tuitt said it will be used as a foundation to reopen negotiations with unions via the organized consultative body (GOA).
“This is something good that we will be able to come soon to a finalization of this Cola issue,” Tuitt said.
He continues to maintain that the Cola can no longer be sustained in a developing economy such as St. Maarten’s.
The minister stated that it came as no surprise when CAOP told him that the Cola system was outdated and was rendered obsolete in every part of the world. The organization is strongly recommending the system be stopped here.
Even as the government seeks an alternative to the Cola, unions are demanding that retroactive Cola payments be made to civil servants and teachers with an insertion being placed in 2013 Budget.

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