New CLA for Central Government workers in Caribbean Netherlands

From left: union representatives Wendy Calmes (ABVO), Francisco Mariana (WICSU), Acting Dutch Government Representative Jan Helmond and Leon van der Hulst (ACOM) signing the new three-year Collective Labour Agreement for civil servants of the Central Government in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–A two-per-cent salary increase in 2018, one of 1.75 per cent in 2019 and the introduction of a thirteenth month are the main elements of a new Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for Central Government workers in Bonaire. St. Eustatius and Saba.

The former 2-year CLA expired on December 31, 2017. The negotiations to reach a new agreement on salaries and labour conditions started November 30 and December 1, 2017. The new 3-year CLA was signed by unions ABVO, ACOM and WICSU-PSU, whose membership approved the results of the negotiations. The new CLA will expire on December 31, 2020.

NAPB stepped out of the consultation. The trade union had requested a postponement as it had been unable to consult sufficient members. According to NAPB’s chairman, he could not agree based upon the reaction of the members present.

The three remaining trade unions and the Central Government regretted NAPB’s withdrawal, they said Thursday in a joint statement.

Although NAPB stepped out of the consultation, the three trade unions and the employer signed a legally valid agreement for all employees, including NAPB’s members.

The step-by-step introduction of a thirteenth month is a long-cherished wish of the unions. Under the agreement, all civil servants will receive an end-of-year bonus of five per cent in 2018, which will be increased to six per cent in 2019, and to seven per cent in 2020, instead of the current nominal end-of-year bonus of US $1,250.

In addition, the minimum amount compared with the current year-end bonus has increased to $1,500.

A “life-cycle conscious” personnel policy and possible reduction of working hours will be part of discussions with State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops in June.

“With these measures, all civil servants in the Caribbean Netherlands benefit from the economic development in the European Netherlands,” parties said.

Source: The Daily Herald