Published On: Thu, Aug 2nd, 2018

Today for me, tomorrow for you

It still remains a mystery why the roles and functioning of supervisory boards of directors are so confusing when the corporate governance codes, rules and regulations are available for all to study. And when in doubt, just consult the Corporate Governance Council.

It is however an unwritten rule that when a new government asks a supervisory board to step down, the members resign even before they are asked to do so. No need to make a fuss. When one door closes, another one opens. With the rate governments change on St. Maarten, it can be expected that one will soon be asked to join a new board again. So no need to rock the boat indeed.

Things get a bit trickier when salaries of former cabinet staff members are not being paid out.

Three former cabinet staff members of the Marlin II government informed StMaartenNews.com today that they have not been paid their last month’s salary of January 2018. As we all know, the Leona Marlin-Romeo I cabinet took office on January 15th, 2018. With immediate effect, all cabinet staff members of the outgoing ministers lost their jobs. Who could not return to departments they took a leave of absence from were basically out of a job. And out of a final pay as well it seems.

The affected staff members worked in the cabinets of the ministers of General Affairs, VROMI and TEATT. Now it seems all kinds of technicalities are being used to not pay out salary balances, accumulated vacations days, pension premium deductions that have to be refunded for those that did not join the pension fund, etc.,etc.. In short, a plethora of excuses, bureaucratic policies and procedures that are now testing the patience of some former staff members, forcing them to turn to the media in search of support for their cause and to highlight their plight.

Despite clear policies and, in some cases, official decrees (landsbesluiten) in hand, the rules and regulations are not being adhered to. Because of the myriad of differences in each case, we can only advise each individual ex-staff member to assess their own situation according to the well-established policies and work out what needs to be worked out so that they can get paid properly. The present government should do well to settle each case satisfactorily because here in St. Maarten there is a saying “Today for me, tomorrow for you.” Meaning tomorrow you might find yourself in the same situation as well. Unless you are a masochist, payback can be a pain.

It seems nowadays to serve in minister’s cabinets and on supervisory boards and receive your just dues are only possible until you are no longer wanted. Then it is exit stage left and wait for your day next time around. If you are unlucky, it might one day take four years of waiting.

Or so we hope.