Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs in her capacity as Minister of General Affairs, met with the Members of the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) on Friday, February 7th, 2020. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the draft Pension Reform Legislation and the Function Book of the Sint Maarten Fire Department.
During this meeting, the Members reiterated their concerns pertaining to the draft Pension Reform Legislation that is being debated in Parliament. According to the members, Civil Servants will be adversely affected by changing the “end salary pension” to a “middle salary” pension structure, given that the salaries have not been adjusted over several years. In the meantime, public sector reform and stricter investment conditions are not being enforced. Minister Jacobs expressed her concerns with the fact that 25% of Civil Servants are already living below the unofficial Naf 4.000,00 poverty line. The Minister indicated to have asked the Department of Personnel to investigate adjusting the salaries of the lower scales in Government. The members asked the Minister to consider a few proposals and appealed to the Minister to critically examine the socio-economic impact the reform of the Pension will have on the Civil Servants. Minister Jacobs assured the Members that as a Civil Servant herself, she understands the importance and implications of this draft legislation. The Minister promised to answer the letter sent by the CCSU based on the consultation meeting with her predecessor on July 5th, 2019 and consider the proposals submitted by the members. The Minister requested a month for her staff to review the proposals and return with an answer.
Also, during this meeting, the Minister provided an update on the situation with the Sint Maarten Fire Department. Members were informed that a Consultant has been hired to initiate the process of reviewing and amending the Function book of the Fire Department. The Minister also informed the Members that the repairs to the Fire Department building are in its final stage.
The members of the CCSU are appointed every two years based on their official membership count. The CCSU consists of one member from the WICSU-PSU Mr. Riegnald Arrindell and his replacement member Mr. Franklin Mariana along with one member of the WITU Mrs. Claire Elshot-Aventurin and her replacement member Mr. Robert Rawlins for the 2018-2020 term. The CCSU is supported by a Secretariat consisting of four persons, the Chairlady Ms. Jessica Weeks, the Deputy Chairlady Ms. Sharon Cangieter, the General Secretary Ms. Suenah Laville and the Deputy General Secretary Ms. Nicole Maccow.