NAPB plans meeting with Immigration officers to address grievances. | SMN NEWS

PHILIPSBURG:— By means of this letter, the board of the NAPB-SXM, would like to make the following known:
With regards to the issue that transpired with a member of the Immigration department stationed at the Port yesterday, Sunday 19th 2023. This member, in particular, was assaulted by a civilian while carrying out her duties as an immigration officer.
News of this incident has spread like wildfire within the community via various social media platforms and this disrespect will not be tolerated. After it was made known by the members of the Immigration department and also observing reactions on social media, yesterday 19th November 2023, the board took the proactive approach to visit the workplace of the respected Immigration officer.
After listening to the member’s account of the events leading up to the incident, the board of the N.A.P.B. guided her through the process and assured her that the board fully stood behind her in solidarity.
In addition to this, it was also related to the board of N.A.P.B by this member in particular that she has been placed home until further notice effective immediately. This decision according to the member came from a director of the Immigration department.
This decision was communicated to her verbally and the reason for her being sent home up until now is still unclear. This decision according to the board of N.A.P.B was at that point irresponsible due to the following:

There were only 2 immigration officers working from 7:00 AM yesterday morning. The same 2 immigration officers remained for the following shift, knowing that there would be no one else coming to relieve them. These have been the working conditions that these Immigration officers have currently subjected to for days now. This is also the same working situation at the Airport.
So, the decision to send that Immigration officer home effective immediately, basically endangered the remaining immigration officer in question with another passenger vessel to check in at 8 p.m.
At that moment, the board of the N.A.P.B. in collaboration with the watch commander of the evening shift, managed to get a police unit at the harbor to assist this immigration officer who was left alone until she checked in the last passenger vessel. Our member's security and well-being are what matter most to us.
The board of N.A.P.B would also like to make a very strong statement based on what transpired yesterday with our member.
The board will not tolerate this any longer. An emergency meeting on site was convened by the board. The decision is that as soon as possible a meeting with the members of Immigration will be called. The Immigration members will be heard about other grievances that they might have that need prompt solutions. The board will carry out any responsible mandate coming from them until their demands are met!
The fight is long from being over. Every time there seems to be an ease for the members, knowing that their legal issues are far from being realized, there comes something to test their faith. Where is the protection for the one who is there to uphold the Law and order?
Where is their protection when they are being insulted and assaulted at the same time while executing their tasks as described by the same book that is still in the final stages?
Where is the protection when it comes to abuse of women? Where are the other platforms that protect and come out when they point out abuse of women?
To our members, as soon as some logistic issues are finalized, an emergency meeting will be called based on this situation and others that need prompt solutions. Stay Strong, remain united. That is the only way we will prevail.
R.E. Mauricia

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