WITU starts petition for payment of Vacation Allowance 2022



Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson said, “today is the day we put the rights of teaching and non-teaching staff back as a priority in St. Maarten.”

The WITU President outlined the contents of the petition that has nine points of motivation and all WITU members are being called to sign it in solidarity.

The nine points of motivation in the petition are:

  1. That the Liquidity of the Government of St. Maarten is “decent” stated the
    Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs in the Council of Ministers Press Briefing of
    April 6th, 2022.
  2. That the immediate approval and implementation of the Kingdom Act on the
    Caribbean Body for Reform and Development (COHO) have been postponed until
    further deliberations.
  3. That the increase in the cost of living in St. Maarten continues to negatively impact our members and the community.
  4. That our members, which comprise civil servants and teaching and non-teaching staff of subsidized school boards, have not received cost of living adjustment (COLA) since 2012.
  5. That the constant rise of fuel prices directly affects the cost of electricity bills by GEBE and other entities.
  6. That the inflation of prices and lack of proper price controls especially on the essential food items is a reality.
  7. That the annual expectation of utilizing the vacation allowance for house insurance, school fees, school uniforms, and other basic needs of sustaining a household is of utmost importance.
  8. That the 2022 Hurricane season predicted on April 7th, 2022, will be above average thus households must secure the necessary supplies to ensure full preparedness.
  9. That the COVID-19 pandemic clearly revealed the importance of Teaching and Non- teaching staff as essential workers in the overall development of children.

Johnson stated, “we are seeking the full payment of the 2022 vacation allowance for all Civil Servants and Employees of Government-subsidized school boards. Further dialogue and mutual agreements with WITU regarding the outstanding Vacation allowances for 2020 and 2021 will follow.”

“Government by implementing the 12.5% cost-cutting measures has yet to prove the effectiveness of having these funds at their disposal with a viable plan in stimulating our economy. Additionally, the Government has yet to provide the public with evidence to substantiate, be it in an impact study or otherwise, that the proposed cost-cutting measures have been of any benefit to the people,” Johnson concluded.