August 27, 2020 Great Bay- The members of the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU), known in Dutch as the GOA, filed an official complaint with the Ombudsman against the Government of St. Maarten on Friday, August 21, 2020. The 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 its deep concerns and remained firm in its opposition to the abundance of irregularities since the start of negotiations, with Government, on Thursday, May 7, 2020 to present.
In a joint statement, the CCSU members, namely the WICSU-PSU and the WITU, expressed its profound disappointment with Governments' unfair negotiation tactics.
From circumventing the articles enshrined in the LMA, the constant change of the cost-cutting measures, without any explanation or justification to meet the 12.5% 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 the Government seem contrary to its professed devotion to justice, good governance, and the principles of democracy and the protection of human rights.
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 (labor) laws, of its legal obligation towards its employees.
A copy of this complaint and its supporting documents have also been submitted to the Office of Integrity Chamber.