CCSU and Justice Minister reach consensus on way forward for Police Force
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CCSU and Justice Minister reach consensus on way forward for Police Force

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday, September 13th a Consultation meeting was held between the members of the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) and the Minister of Justice the honorable Cornelius de Weever. Also present at this meeting were the Police unions: the ABVO and the NAPB, who were allowed to take part in the meeting as observers with speaking rights.

The purpose of the Consultation meeting was to discuss a way forward on three critical matters for the Sint Maarten Police force: the constellation of the placement and appeal committee, the approved function book of June 3rd, 2019 and the “Rechtspositie” decree, which is the document that regulates the majority of the legal rights and benefits of the Police.

In June 2019, the Minister of Justice presented the CCSU and the Police Unions with several signed documents. These documents included a signed function book, a letter pertaining to the existence of a “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011, a request to repeal the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000 and a request for appointment of members to the placement and appeals committee.

It was critical for the parties to meet on these points as the CCSU did not approve the request to repeal the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000 and the members of the CCSU did not agree with the constellation of the placement and appeals committee proposed by the Minister of Justice.

In addition, after the CCSU provided a positive advice on the function book and formation in February, changes were made to the formation plan that was not submitted to the CCSU for review in accordance with article 112g of the “Landsverorderning Materiel ambtenaren recht (LMA)”.

The Consultation would offer the opportunity to address these matters and reach consensus on a way forward, supported by all parties. After much negotiating and lobbying, parties settled on two of the three matters.

The Members of the CCSU (the WICSU-PSU & the WITU) could not agree on the proposed constellation of the placement and appeals committee. In such a case, the Minister of Justice is allowed to decide on the matter (see article 112f subsection 3 of the LMA). The proposed constellation of the placement and appeals committee by the Minister of Justice is in line with the placement procedure applied in 10/10/10, with the exception of two members nominated by the CCSU, instead of one.

The Minister of Justice explained that there are currently two regulations on the legal position of the Police force that are applicable and proposed the repeal of the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000, instead of the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011”. The members had serious reservations about this request, as the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011 did not receive a green light from the CCSU in 2015. This lead to the drafting of a “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2016 in collaboration with the then Minister of Justice. After hours of deliberations, parties agreed to repeal the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000 and recognize the legality of the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011, ensuring the placement procedures can commence with the needed legal clarity.

Additionally, the Minister of Justice explained that there are no significant changes between the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000 and the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011 and as such, repealing the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Nederlandse Antillen” of 2000 would not hamper their current rights and remuneration. The Minister of Justice, in turn, guaranteed to work on the finalization of the draft “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2016.

The function book of June 3rd is linked to the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011. This means, by accepting the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011, the members also accepted the function book, despite procedures not being followed and the discrepancies noted in the function book.

The members stated that in order to achieve the bigger picture of proper placement and salaries for the Police force it was imperative that the process not be halted any further. Not agreeing to the “Rechtspositie Korpspolitie Sint Maarten” of 2011, would mean delayed placement.

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