NAf. 1.9 million from treasury for Justice workers’ back pay

      NAf. 1.9 million from treasury  for Justice workers’ back pay

Justice Minister Egbert Jurendy Doran.


PHILIPSBURG--Interim Justice Minister Egbert Jurendy Doran appears to have delivered on a pledge made to Justice workers in St. Maarten relating to the partial payment of their long-standing back pay.

  An amount of NAf. 1.9 million has been taken from government’s treasury to pay about 250 of the workers part of their back pay. The payment, Doran said on Wednesday, began on January 10. The dates workers received the payment this month depended on the bank.

  Finance Minister Ardwell Irion had said during the Parliament meeting on Monday that police officers had been paid some of their back pay via the cash flow of government. He said at the time that the decision had been made to pay the workers via the treasury and not hold it up any longer.

  The treasury will be reimbursed the amount used when the next tranche of payment is received from the sale of St. Maarten’s 12.5 per cent shares in United Telecommunications Services (UTS).

  The first tranche of the settlement from the UTS sale was paid on September 10, 2019, which amounts NAf. 9.2 million (9,206,975.34). Although Members of Parliament (MPs) wanted the funds to go towards settling the retroactive payments to Justice workers, the first tranche went towards settling a debt to TelEm.

  Asked during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday what efforts will be made to permanently solve the Justice workers’ long-standing concerns, Doran explained that he had given the Secretary-General a directive to reach out to the various department heads in the Justice Ministry to be updated on the status of the function book. He expects to receive a response by Friday.

  This will be followed up with a plan of approach to address the issue and put a timeline in place. He said discussions had been held in the past, but follow-ups were not done. When persons are appointed to take charge of following up on matters, results are evident, he said noting that the recent pay-out to the Justice workers is a prime example of this. He said the retroactive payment to the workers is a “small part” of the pie.

The Daily Herald

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