Opinion: Christmas bonus

POSTED: 02/3/12 2:19 PM

Here is another thing that we find rather odd: the Christmas bonus for civil servants. Well, we don’t find it odd that civil servants receive a Christmas bonus though we could probably find a few people to criticize giving that reward to the good people who are supposed to keep our road pothole-free. Somehow that seems to be too difficult, but then, paying Christmas bonuses seems to be complicated too.
We always thought that Christmas bonuses were paid before Christmas, but in St. Maarten they do things differently. Civil servants will now get their bonus on Monday, February 6. It would be much better to call it a Valentine’s Day-bonus instead.
Then there is of course the discrepancy between active civil servants and pensioners. The pensioners have to make do with 125 guilders, while the others get 345 guilders. That’s not fair, Wiclu first vice president Claire Elshot said yesterday and this is probably true.
That brings us to the definition of the term bonus. In our opinion it is a reward for achieving specific goals, or a reward for extraordinary dedication.
This is not the kind of bonus the government is paying out next Monday, because all civil servants get it, including those who fail to fill the potholes, those who fail to issue work permits in a timely manner, and those who seldom and maybe never show up for work. That’s mind boggling, given the fact that the country is cash strapped and in dire need of more funding.
But who knows – maybe Finance Minister Shigemoto has discovered that it is cheaper to give everyone a bonus than to figure out who truly deserves one.

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