GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Council of Ministers (COM) met with the Social Economic Council (SER), which is one of the permanent advisory councils of St. Maarten in accordance with article 79 of the Constitution.
The aim of the SER is to facilitate and promote discussions between social partners in order to reach consensus regarding social economic issues before they are regulated in policy or law.
During the meeting the SER presented and informed the Council of Ministers of their work and the progress made since the first SER Board was appointed per national decree on May 1, 2011.
The SER has provided solicited and unsolicited advice to the Government and to Parliament as requested over the years and submitted advices on topics like theMonetary Union, Guest Tax, Counterpart article of the National Ordinance Foreign Labor and A mandatory pension for Sint Maarten.
As a result of the meeting, the SER and the Government will look into strengthening their cooperation and collaboration concerning social economic issues.
In addition, the SER presented the Council of Ministers with unsolicited advice concerning the eradication of poverty on St. Maarten.
It concerns a program called “Boost St. Maarten” which is a conditional cash transfer program aimed to reduce income poverty and increase human capacity development. A follow-up meeting will take place to provide the Council of Ministers with more insights regarding the proposed program.
The SER is an important partner supporting the government in the social economic development process providing advice on issues that affect many citizens, such as work, income levels, social security, taxes, professional education and the environment.
The SER was represented by a large delegation of its members under the leadership of its Chairlady Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet.
The SER Council comprises of nine members and nine substitute members. The SER members originate in equal proportion from the country’s employer and employee organizations contributing three members each, as well as three independent (expert) members.
The independent members are appointed by national decree on the recommendation of the Minister of General Affairs. The division of equality in the representation is depicted in the SER’s logo, a circle in the colors red, green and blue. The circle symbolizes the strong tie between the partners who are represented in the SER.
The SER Council is supported by a Secretariat headed by Secretary General, Gerard Richardson.