Tuitt: Ministers responsible for paying July 1 overtime

POSTED: 06/7/12 1:11 PM

St. Maarten / By Donellis Browne – Justice Minister Roland Duncan believes that he has enough money within his current budget to pay overtime to police officers, prison guards and the like that have to work on the newly created Emancipation Day holiday – July 1. Government has estimated that it will need to find 100, 000 guilders extra to pay overtime just for the one day. That is 20 percent of the monthly wage bill for civil servants and teachers, which currently stands at roughly 500, 000 guilders per month.
“We have money for overtime budgeted. I’m not that worried for the police, because the reservation for over time is quite extensive,” Duncan said.
Earlier on Wednesday the Finance Minister Roland Tuitt laid paying the over time squarely at Duncan’s feet. He had been asked whether or not the amount for paying the overtime was already in the budget or if the forthcoming amendment to the 2012 budget would include making this payment.
“The justice ministry has its budget and anything that has to do with justice has to come out of the budget of the justice ministry. So if the extra police and whatever is going to cost whatever, then the minister of justice has to ensure that he has enough money to pay his people. That is his responsibility and our responsibility as ministerraad (Council of Ministers),” Tuitt said.

Event funding
Tuitt also informed the media at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers Press Briefing that next to the 75, 000 guilders that has been allocated in posts 62002, 62003, 62004 and 62005, which falls under the Department of Culture’s Budget, the government has an additional 600, 000 guilders in the National Holiday Fund that can be used to have “a very good presentation.”

National Support
Questions on funding aside both Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs have called for all in St. Maarten to participate in the planned celebrations. The official program, which will be a “serious commemoration” and “fun celebration”, is still being worked out for the activities, which will actually take place on Monday, July 2. Even though the official celebrations begin with a church service on Monday, Jacobs wants the nation’s churches to set aside a part of their service on July 1 – Sunday – to recognize Emancipation Day.
“All credit goes to the former Minister Rhoda Arrindell who pushed, pulled and dragged something that has been in the process for many, many years and if anyone witnessed the parliamentary discussions and what all the members of parliament had to say, it was a well expected and well received piece of legislation. I would only hope then that the public and the general population of St. Maarten really gets behind us and supports us in a bid to make this a national holiday – one that will bring a sense of pride to all our people,” Jacobs said.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams called Flag Day – not a public holiday – which falls on June 13 a “good jump start towards Emancipation Day”. The government is planning a short ceremony to mark the official observance of the day in 1985 when the Island Council unanimously adopted the Island Ordinance regulating the flag of St. Maarten. The declaration making Flag Day an official observance was approved in 2005.
“I encourage, like I have been doing every year, the community of St. Maarten to pay homage to our flag on Flag Day – the 13th of June,” Wescot-Williams said.
Later she’d add, “Everyone who possibly can, in one fashion or another, show our flag. You can fly the flag on your home, at your business or also on your car. However it is possible, let us just show our patriotism and our love for our flag and national symbols.”

Did you like this? Share it:
Tuitt: Ministers responsible for paying July 1 overtime by

Comments are closed.