My2cents: The Justice Ministry is busy crumbling and nobody is seeing it !!!

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By means of this letter I would like to address all the Justice workers, but especially those that are holding a position within the different Justice worker’s unions.

I have been following the saga of the justice workers for a while with keen attention to the following process regarding the function book and this Justice Minister, Anna Elaine Richardson, that claims to do it “the right way”.

I don’t want to delve into the past as to how many persons were appointed or held the function of SG and were gotten rid off under this Justice Minister. I guess all in the name of doing things “the right way”. She went as far as to hire “a superman” Alvin Daal from Curacao with his vast experience in change management to assist her ministry with the many changes in the different organisations and the tedious process of it all, while he failed in Curacao. But, bear in mind that the aim is to do it “the right way”.

I cannot help but write, I am already feeling that I have to do this right and I am getting this compelling feeling as if I am in a contest. Ach, let me shake that off quickly.

I have taken notice of what the Minister of Justice explained in Parliament during the question hour held on Monday, February 4, 2024 regarding the stage of the ongoing process. As usual The Minister of Justice in the person that she is, did a presentation with glamour, all in all again to impress. I don’t know if others do see it or not, but this Minister of Justice, rather than working towards getting the job done for the justice workers, is false. Yes, false to the bone and bitter. It is so clear as daylight and I see it through and through her.

The justice workers as I can understand are TIRED, FRUSTRATED, DEMOTIVATED and some even DEPRESSED. They trust that the Minister of Justice will comply with her promises. They also rely on their union leader to strive and work on their behalf and guard their interest. But the clock keeps ticking and so the days, weeks, months and even years go by. I am so sorry to add to the distress, but the last letter dated March 18th, 2024 from the Justice Minister is yet another blow and I will explain it and break it in simple words for the full understanding of everyone.     

The Minister of Justice, Ms. Anna Elaine Richardson, has decided that she will expedite the 700 decrees (read LB’s) in batches of minimum 25 per week. 700 : 25 = 28. Meaning that it will take 28 weeks before all justice workers can be in receipt of the decree. 28 weeks is about 7 months!

This is just the phase 1 she mentions in her letter. 

The Minister of Justice says that the first decree is about placing the justice worker that is actually in active service in their respective function and salary. Each justice worker has 30 days after receipt of the decree to appeal if they find that the decree is not correct. This 30 days date is different for each batch group of 25. The last group will receive their decree sometime about 7 months from now. They also have 30 days to appeal. That brings us to 8 months from today. I hope that you all can follow. But don’t you all think that The Minister of Justice, Anna Elaine Richardson, does know this already? And by then she will be long gone out of office. Do you all understand now why I am saying that this Justice Minister is false?

The Minister of Justice knows that the 4 phases outlined in her letter, the process will take some more years. If it takes 7 months to issue the first set of decrees, it will take another 7 months to issue the second set of 700 decrees. Why did the Minister of Justice choose to make two decrees instead of ONE DECREE with all the employee information? That would have spared this waste of time. Do you mean to tell me that this is the best advice “the superman” that she brought from Curacao could have provided to her? Hmmm where is superman? is superman here or in Curacao.… hmmm !

The Minister of Justice also did hire her best friend and “superwoman” Grace Marlin with her vast experience in human resources (in a banking institution and not government) to assist her.
Both superman and superwoman were hired to assist for this specific project. Both of them are receiving an exorbitant wage per day for the services provided. Superman has a law degree but the funds paid to him far exceed the fee of any local lawyer. Superwoman does not have a master nor a law decree, does not speak nor understand the Dutch language, yet she (her consultancy) receives a substantial amount for the services provided. 

The union leaders of NAPB, ABVO and WISCU are all a disgrace and do not deserve to represent any worker as they did not do work in the interest of their members. They all permit themselves to fall in the grip of the Minister of Justice through acceptance of positions that they are not entitled to have. 

The government of Sint Maarten owes its civil servants the cost of living increase, the so-called COLA, for over 10 years. Everyone knows that the cost of living after the hurricanes in 2017, followed by the pandemic in 2020 skyrocketed. The government of Sint Maarten did not do absolutely anything to alleviate the burden on its civil servants. Now, with that the union leaders signed an agreement with the government for yet another debt to its civil servants that the payments will be done in terms over 10 years. This is most ridiculous! 

No matter one’s salary, being small, medium or large, all families have their burden. We need to stop looking at each other and just do what is right for all. Give everyone what they are entitled to and what they deserve. They work and deserve to receive their rightful salary. The government has any respect in this regard and that is to be lamented.

It is the hope that with the new government that is taking over and with a fresh Minister of Justice, that an investigation can be carried out into the appointments of the superman and superwoman and what the exorbitant amounts were paid to them and taxed accordingly. The process in the execution of the function book should also be reviewed by proper and experienced entities that are also familiar with the matters of government.

Gromyko Wilson
“Working for the citizens of St Maarten”