NAPB, ABVO give authorities 72 hours to fix issues in force


~ Or ‘other methods’ will be taken ~

PHILIPSBURG–The NAPB and ABVO police unions are putting their foot down on what they see as the unnecessary and lengthy delays in fixing the many issues affecting their membership.

The unions are giving authorities 72 hours to come with solutions for issues affecting the police force and immigration, including fixing their insurance and pension, as well as ensuring that officers receive their “function book” and salary scales, amongst other things.

“The NAPB St. Maarten union stands firm on everything that is outstanding for officers. Something has be done as soon as or the unions will have to take other methods,” NAPB President Jeanine Peterson said.

High on the unions’ list of concerns is the fact that the medical insurance is not yet regulated for officers and immigration personnel. This has left police and immigration officers “in limbo,” Peterson noted. She said although the disciplined services currently fall under Social and Health Care Insurances SZV, members “don’t feel protected” by this insurance, particularly when working in the line of duty.

She said, with SZV insurance, officers injured during the line of duty are not entitled to any benefits for their loved ones, particularly if they lose their life. She alluded to the case of police major Vernon Ranis, who was injured during a recent accident and subsequently lost part of his foot. “The unions stand firmly behind all civil servants, who are injured while on duty (outdoors) or while working desk duty. This requires life insurance and disability insurance. This is what we want for our members,” she noted.

The unions are also peeved that – despite the many years of battling for these issues to be rectified – police officers and immigration personnel are still awaiting their “function book” and salary scales, amongst other things.

NAPB congratulated the incoming government, sworn in on Thursday. The union says, however, that authorities have to hit the ground running as everyone is aware of the issues affecting the force. “We really take the concerns of our members to heart. Since the death of officer Gamali “Benji” Benjamin, we have been pleading with the Government of St. Maarten for something to be done about the radical, ruthless shooting of this officer… The family members of this officer, up to this day, are really in shock and have nowhere to turn. We had five collation governments running this beautiful island, (yet nothing has been done).”

She declined to say what specific other methods, the force will take if its 72-hour ultimatum is not met. She said, however, that the union and its members are serious about a resolution being found for the issues they continue to face.

Source: The Daily Herald NAPB, ABVO give authorities 72 hours to fix issues in force