April 13, 2023 -Philipsburg – On Wednesday, April 12, 2023, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson,
and her support staff, held a fruitful meeting with thirty-five police officers of Class 2011 and Class 2015. The meeting was held upon the request of the officers in a bid to seek clarity in relation to their retroactive payment calculations and the opportunity to ask the Minister questions concerning their placement offers.
Minister Richardson stated, “I’d like to thank the two classes that have taken advantage of my open-
door policy in order to gain the necessary clarity required for them to move forward in the placement
process. I was very happy to learn that the officers were also busy doing the calculations for
themselves, reviewing what they actually received over the past years and what they are due to
receive in the future, as this is exactly what the Ministry’s HR team is busy with in order to finalize
the calculations process to establish the full debt amount.”
During the meeting, the officers expressed key factors that may have led to misunderstandings of the process to regulate the personnel affairs of the Ministry. The officers indicated that information may not have been shared by their unions or management may have communicated information contrary to the position of the Minister. They felt that having no direct communication with the Minister may at times have contributed to the misunderstandings or confusion. The officers requested guidance with the review of their calculations and expressed their understanding of the complexity of the calculations.
Not only did they require additional time for the review of calculations, a request Minister Richardson welcomes as more time is needed for the completion of this process, but theyalso pledged to work with the HR team in completing calculation reviews. These are the first individuals to propose and offer assistance during the placement and calculations process.
Another major concern of the two classes was the pending disbursement of the full payments in connection with verdicts rendered by the court to complete the National Decrees establishing their legal status as police officers. Minister Richardson apologized to the officers for not explaining to them prior why the payments were not disbursed. She explained that had full payments been made to the classes when the National Decrees were issued, it would have totally depleted the reservations made on the budget making it impossible for others to have received payment within the budgeted year.
As such, the Minister made an executive decision to ensure all justice workers receive a fair share of the funds. With the lines of communication open, the officers expressed their appreciation for being able to review their payment calculations one on one with the team. As such, Minister Richardson encourages all justice workers to email email@example.com in the event that they too have questions or require clarity concerning their payment calculations.
Public Relations Officer Luis Hurtault Government Administration Building Post Office Box 943, Philipsburg / Soualiga Road 1, Sint Maarten (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
The meeting was concluded with a few of the officers agreeing to participate and unite with the HR
team in finalizing the calculations process as the Ministry nears the end of this long and neglected
matter that has lasted for more than a decade. The officers will update the HR team with any type of
discrepancies identified so that as a team they can speed up the process, but more importantly, reach
an accurate and just resolution.
“Based upon communication challenges experienced in the past, the “Intranet” was launched,
allowing for each member of the Justice Ministry to receive time-sensitive developments and notices.
The most recent communication was the “Justice Newsletter,” which detailed the ongoing
calculations and placement processes. The Ministry’s personnel are reminded and encouraged to read
this newsletter as it contains vital information that provides clarity on the process of regulating the
personnel affairs. We also encourage all justice workers to use the direct communication channels
available to reach out with concerns or seek clarity directly.
“It is truly a pity that the livelihood of our officers and frontliners is being played with politically
when there are hardworking individuals behind the scenes who are dedicated to ensuring the
calculations are finalized. Yes, deadline dates have been missed, and this is largely due to hiccups
with the gathering of historical data necessary to complete the calculations. Nonetheless, I am
appreciative that while the officers are interested in receiving their payments owed, they have an
understanding of the process being executed on a larger scale. Once again, I hereby state that an
open-door policy is available to all staff seeking clarifications and answers.” concluded