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Published On: Mon, Dec 21st, 2020

WICSU-PSU union says “Communication is Key!”

The WICSU-PSU Union read with much dismay the press release “All draft function books to be submitted by December 23” which appeared in the Daily Herald on Wednesday December 16, 2020.

The article informed that the “draft function books for all nine departments in the Justice Ministry will be handed over to the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (hereafter: CCSU) by December 23rd 2020”.

The article went on to state “it would normally be allowed six weeks to do this but the CCSU requested an extension in a letter to Richardson on December 9, 2020, which was granted by the Honorable Minister of Justice”.

It further stated that “Richardson granted the request and CCSU now has a full eight weeks to review the function books and submit its recommendations to the Justice Ministry”.

As you might imagine, the Ministers’ utterance came as a complete surprise for several reasons.

First, in our letter of Tuesday December 8, 2020, the unions representing civil servants in the CCSU filed an official written request, via the Secretariat, to the Honorable Minister of Justice for an extension to render an advice regarding the proposed amendments to the police regulation and the ‘Landsverordening Inrichting en Organisatie Landsoverheid St. Maarten’ (hereafter: LIOL) .

In the Ministers’ official written response dated Wednesday, December 9, 2020, the members were notified, via the Secretariat, that its request for an extension to render an advice regarding the proposed amendments to the police ordinance and the LIOL was approved.

The members were granted five (5) additional weeks to render an advice on said document.

Second, as you are aware, article 112g (among others) offers guidance regarding the process to request additional time to render an advice or recommendations to the Minister. Besides that, it is common practice for members to submit an official written request to the Minister, via the Secretariat, for an extension to render an advice. The Minister in turn provides a written response to the request for an extension, via the Secretariat, to the members.

According to our knowledge and records, the aforementioned procedure did not take place. Naturally, we stand to be corrected. Any evidence to the contrary is greatly appreciated.

Truthfully, the members are somewhat confused and unsure as to how best to interpret the Ministers’ statement in this regard since:

(1) The members did not submit an official written request to the Honorable Minister of Justice, via the Secretariat, for an extension regarding the draft function books for all nine departments in the Justice Ministry.

(2) The members did not receive any official written notification from the Honorable Minister of Justice, via the Secretariat, regarding her decision to grant an additional two (2) weeks extension to provide recommendations on the draft function books for all nine departments in the Justice Ministry.

It is very unfortunate that, the unions being social partners learned of the two week extension via the during the Ministers presentation and via the media instead of through dialogue and consultation. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this article might perhaps inspire the Honorable Minister of Justice to provide clarity, and if need be, rectify this matter as soon as possible.

Together we struggle, together we achieve!
Unity & Solidarity Forever!

Riegnald “Bakari” Arrindell
General Secretary
WICSU-PSU Union




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