PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Member of Parliament Maurice Lake said St. Maarten is at a crossroad right now and Government has to start taking care of our local people and professionals such as the Fire Department, VKS, Casino Controllers, Prison Guards, cleaners, Immigration, Police and civil servants.
The sad part is they are not asking for much only to revise their “Functie Book” which includes their salary structure, safety, hiring of extra personnel and insurance. As a Member of Parliament, I understand the budget issues, but if Government prioritize and focus on generating extra revenues it can address all these civil servants issues.
Over the weekend, I was listening to some firemen and I feel their pain. Imagine working for over 10 years on the same salary scale. Imagine passing your exams and still no recognition.
We need to listen to the Prison Guards’ safety concerns and get the VKS to assist them in the Prison. We need to look at ways within the budget to pay the VKS for their service.
We need to start putting our local professionals first and trained and develop them, instead of labeling them not fully qualified. How many fully qualified local persons we have in St. Maarten. Every expert in anything was once a Little Leaguer.
You can’t build a nation if your people is not at the forefront and holding keys positions within their country.
I am very proud to see how NV Gebe is being managed now and the Board, Management and Staff are working together to take the company to the next level.
We got to stand up for our people and professionals by putting the right people in the right job but also giving them the opportunity to improve their skills instead of labeling them not fully qualified.
The same with the restructuring of our local Cadastre with our own professionals.
Government can’t be in control of the country if local professionals are not in the top positions.
We also got to look at paying our cleaners better instead of being 20 years in Scale 1.
This is not a political message, but a message for US to start empowering our local people.
Our people and professionals are hurting and as a Representatives we got to stand up for them so they can provide for their family.