Some $1.5 million available for civil servants’ backpay | THE DAILY HERALD

ST. EUSTATIUS–An estimated US $1.5 million will be made available for backpay to the Island Government’s civil servants, Acting Government Commissioner Mervyn Stegers told The Daily Herald. He spoke about a wide range of topics, including the airport terminal and tower, and waste management.

The civil servants’ back pay dates back to the period from 2013 to 2018. Stegers said he was not sure about the amount but estimated it might concern an amount of US $1.5 million that should have been paid out to civil servants, but they never were paid the correct amount.
As much as possible the amount will be paid out in one instalment, but for some civil servants the situation is quite complicated because of the different functions and jobs they have had over the years. The civil servants will be paid out the backlog with their salaries at the end of September.
“If any alterations have to be made because we made some mistake or whatever, we would deal with that later on,” Stegers said.
The money needed to make the payments will be coming from the budget that was made available by the previous government. “We found out that the amounts had been calculated but were never paid out,” said Stegers. The monies were included in the annual report and the draft budgets of 2016 and 2017.
Stegers said the Inspectorate had visited and studied the drawings for the new terminal and air traffic control tower at F.D. Roosevelt Airport.
The plan is to combine the bidding for both, which won’t delay the whole operation because only a few alterations need to be made in the drawings for the terminal. A town-hall meeting will be held in the first week of September. The terms of the agreement have also been drafted. Stegers estimates the project will start mid-2019.
The acting government commissioner said that thus far 700 persons have signed up for waste-management service, whereas 1,700 persons have not.
Stegers said persons who believe that by not signing up they will not have to pay are mistaken, as there is an ordinance in place which states that persons have to pay for garbage collection.
“Everyone has to pay,” he said. “We are in the process of gathering the addresses of persons who have not signed up as yet. These persons will be notified, and they will receive an invoice pertaining to the garbage collection.”
Many persons in the public are still somewhat confused about the process of waste recycling and the separate collection of waste. As soon as the new schoolyear starts, government will provide information about how to recycle to pupils and students, as that is the best way to reach their parents, Stegers said.
“We will show the children how to recycle certain products. We hope that the children will take that information home. The government will also give T-shirts to students. We will also provide information to people in their homes as well, as there are people who do not have children, so everyone will obtain more clarity on how to recycle,” said Stegers.

Source: The Daily Herald