The Ministry of Justice is currently making great progress with the final phase of regulating its personnel affairs. With the approved Ministry of Justice Function Book of December 2021, the draft Legal Position Regulation for the Police of Sint Maarten currently pending approval and signature from His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly, and the start of the placement process of the personnel of the Ministry, Minister Richardson continues to accomplish the top priorities set since the inception of her term in office. In addition, Minister Richardson has also been focused on the improvement of the Ministry’s personnel data management.
On December 2, 2022, a consultation meeting was held between Minister Richardson and the CCSU members to appoint persons to the Placement and Appeal committees of the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Richel Doran was appointed to the Placement Committee and Ms. Sharon Cangieter and Mr. Sharlon Cathalina were both appointed to the Appeals Committee. During the consultation meeting, parties discussed the existence of two official documents regulating the placement process of Justice personnel. Finally, the parties agreed on basing the placement of staff on the “Landsverordening Sociaal Statuut opbouw land Sint Maarten” (AB 2013, GT no. 8. The Placement Committee consists also of Ms. Florence Marlin, representing the Minister of Justice, and is presided by Mr. Alvin Daal, advisor on HR restructuring to the Minister of Justice.
The placement process of the personnel of the Ministry of Justice includes the execution of the Implementation Plan of the Police Salary Scales Advisory Committee to enable the remaining payments to police personnel beginning in 2023. An enabling step in this process is the placement- that is, matching actual and formal positions retroactively- of police personnel, including both police officers and support staff, in their new function as described and classified in the Ministry of Justice Function Book. In addition, staff of all departments within the Ministry of Justice will be placed in a position according to the approved Function Book. This process needs to be carried out carefully, taking into account all historic occurrences during the period 2010-2022 that impacted the legal position of the personnel at the ministry. Each staff member will receive a placement notice and have the opportunity to appeal the placement decision.
The draft Legal Position Regulation was sent to Governor Baly on December 9, 2022, for approval and was received by the Ministry of Justice with an advice requesting the full debt amount calculated thus far for police personnel to be paid over a three-to-five-year period based upon the Covenant agreement. Once the draft Legal Position Regulation is approved by Governor Baly, and finally by Minister Richardson, the decrees for police personnel stating the new salary scale and step of each concerning civil servant will be drafted and formalized. This final step will then enable the Function Book of December 2021, to be ratified and established.
In order to facilitate the salary information gathering, ANTEK has been consulted to retrieve historical data of all employees which will then be used to calculate the payments. This process is meticulous and requires accuracy and diligence.
For many years the personnel dossiers of the Ministry were also incomplete. In April 2022, Mrs. Grace Marlin-Blijden was hired as a consultant to organize these dossiers of all employees of the Ministry of Justice. This process, which included coordinating all dossiers, was a major undertaking that has resulted in the completion of about 90% of the dossiers to date. Mrs. Marlin-Blijden has a background in Human Resources Management and was previously employed as a Branch Manager in the private sector.
Continuing the path of improving the functioning of the Ministry’s HR Department, a new head has been recruited. Since December 1, 2022, Ms. Florence Marlin has been tasked with organizing the processes and coordination of the various sub-departments that handle HR matters in order for the Ministry to function more effectively and efficiently. Ms. Marlin has a degree in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations with many years of experience under her belt.
“With this process at its final steps, I must commend and thank all those parties involved who have gotten us this far. The Ministry of Justice continues to make great progress with the regulation of personnel affairs. As such, my team and I remain focused on the work ahead to be done in order to see this lengthy process through,” stated Minister Richardson.