PHILIPSBURG–The members of the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) filed an official complaint with the Ombudsman against the government of St. Maarten on Friday, August 21.This was announced in a press release on Thursday.
CCSU in its complaint to the Ombudsman highlighted several infractions committed by the Council of Ministers throughout the negotiation process on cost-cutting measures as agreed to with the Kingdom government.“From the onset, the unions continuously raised their deep concerns and remained firm in their opposition to the abundance of irregularities since the start of negotiations with government, on Thursday, May 7, to the present,” said the release.In a joint statement, the CCSU members, namely the Windward Islands Civil Servants’ Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) and the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU), expressed their profound disappointment with government’s unfair negotiation tactics.
CCSU noted its concerns, from circumventing the articles enshrined in the National Ordinance on Substantive Civil Servants LMA to the constant change of the cost-cutting measures without any explanation or justification, to meet the 12.5 per cent condition imposed by the Dutch government, to the lack of complete information and the unilateral decision to withhold the 2020 vacation allowance without an official agreement with the unions.“Notwithstanding, the tactics employed by government seem contrary to its professed devotion to justice, good governance, the principles of democracy and the protection of human rights,” said the release.
“It must be reiterated that St. Maarten is a nation governed by the rule of law, and the rights of workers were never quarantined. The members most certainly understand the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and the complicated negotiations between the government of St. Maarten and The Hague.“In the final analysis, the pandemic has not absolved government, as the legitimate custodian and enforcer of the Constitution and local [labour – Ed.] laws, of its legal obligation towards its employees.
According to the release, a copy of this complaint and its supporting documents have also been submitted to the Office of the Integrity Chamber.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/ccsu-files-complaint-against-government