Minister of Justice, Lyndon C. J. Lewis Union Meeting

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister of Justice, Lyndon C. J. Lewis, convened a meeting with members of the Nationaal Algemeen Politiebond (NABP) and the Algemene Bond van Overheid & Overige Personeel Opgericht (ABVO) this Monday. The meeting, requested by the unions, served as an introductory platform for their boards and members to familiarize themselves with the Minister’s cabinet and receive an update on several pressing matters including the pending National Decrees for justice personnel.
During the discussions, Minister Lewis, who has an extensive background in law enforcement and in handling HR legal issues related to the same, clarified the specifics of the phases. In Phase I, via the national decree, officers are to be appropriately placed in their correct positions and scales, ensuring they receive fair remuneration starting in January 2023.
However, retroactive payments dating prior to that date, a point of contention, are set to be addressed in the subsequent Phase II. Minister Lewis expressed concerns about the current structure of the Nation Decree, indicating that he would have preferred a single National Decree that ensures consideration of the position, scale, and retroactive payment, noting that the current National Decree only places the individual in that function effective as of January 2023.
Nonetheless, Minister Lewis stated that while the current agreed-upon process by his predecessor would not be halted; however, he seeks to refine these processes for the betterment of all parties involved.
To that point, the Minister also announced a shift in how ceremonial acknowledgments are handled; celebrations will be reserved for the completion of the National Decrees processes and will be issue to the directly to the concerned personnel. Additionally, he voiced concerns over the current pace of processing of 25 National Decrees per week and intends to review and potentially increase this by reviewing where additional resources maybe available to complete this task.
Among other topics, the Union raised concerns about the condition of the police station. Minister Lewis responded by stating that discussions were already underway with the Chief of Police, Carl John to assess the building so that the necessary funds can be acquired to fixing the issues.
Rogerrel Mauricia, President of the police union NAPB, expressed optimism about the new approach, stating, “We must weather the storm and come out the other side, stronger than ever.”
Minister Lewis assured that this meeting marks the beginning of a series of collaborations aimed at fostering a transparent, efficient, and fair environment for all justice workers. “Our goal is to work together, not just to address immediate concerns but to continue with the dialogue to improve the work environment for all, hereby improving the safety and security of our country,” he stated.
The Ministry of Justice plans to hold further consultations as often as necessary to ensure transparency with refining and implementing the proposed changes.​