Pro-bono lawyers calling off strike

PHILIPSBURG–Pro-bono lawyers have called off the ultimatum set for Friday, March 31, and their threats to go on strike, following which they described as “very positive and constructive” talks with Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman and his policy advisor Len Dijkstra.

During talks on Wednesday, between attorneys-at-law Shaira Bommel, Sjamira Roseburg, Geert Hatzmann and Minister Boasman, the latter said that he and Minister of Finance Richard Gibson would make sure that all outstanding amounts would be paid within one week, or two weeks at the latest.

In future cases it has been agreed that invoices will in principle be paid out within one month, except in cases of emergencies, Hatzmann explained.

“In trusting that the Minister will keep his promise,” Hatzmann said the lawyers had decided to call off their strike for the time being.

Also, last year pro-bono lawyers went on strike from September 7 until October 6, because Government had failed to pay their bills. They even marched to the new Government Administration Building to persuade Government to pay out what they were due.

The lawyers had the intention to go on strike once again, due to the fact that Government has not been paying their fees since December 2016. Therefore, they set an ultimatum for payment of the outstanding amounts for Friday, March 31. In case of non-payment the lawyers would have gone on strike as per Saturday, April 1.

In a personal comment Hatzmann said earlier he found it “incomprehensible and scandalous” that Government had not learned its lesson since last year’s strike.

Source: The Daily Herald