Honorable Minister Anna E. Richardson elated that 2023 Budget is now at Parliament for handling with Retroactive Compensation for Justice Personnel

November 24, 2023 12:35 am

We have arrived at the finish line

PHILIPSBURG - (November 23, 2023) -The Ministry of Justice proudly announces a significant milestone as the 2023 amended budget includes retroactive compensation for the dedicated personnel of the Ministry of Justice and is now at the Parliament of Sint Maarten to be handled. The Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, expresses happiness over the successful completion of this comprehensive initiative, which has been pending for over a decade and looks forward to the approval of the amended budget so the “Justice Package” can be signed by the Governor.

The process involved extensive legislative requirements and meticulous review processes to calculate the full financial obligation owed to justice employees both retroactively and moving forward. Minister Richardson, along with a dedicated team, prioritized and brought this monumental task to completion.

Over the past few weeks, Minister Richardson has kept the staff and the public informed with regular updates on the status of the budget. In a decisive move, on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, she presented the completed "Justice Package" to the Council of Ministers and gained the approval to submit the completed package to His Excellency the Governor.

The "Justice Package" includes a National Decree with General Measures (LBHAM), also known as the (Rechpositie) for Law for Law Enforcement Sint Maarten. This update to the existing KPNA Police Law encompasses all service with police tasks, including the police, National Detectives, and Immigration and Border Protection officers.

Additionally, the package comprises a National Decree activating the Ministry's Function Book, which Minister Richardson finalized and signed with former Governor His Excellency Drs. Eugene Holiday in December 2021. The package also features a National Decree enacting new salary scales for the police and includes a debt calculation outlining outstanding amounts to specific justice workers and the updated compensation based on the revised Function Book.

Minister Richardson underscores that all legal reviews and presentations to relevant bodies, including the Ministry of Finance, Council of Ministers, Council of Advise, the Parliament of Sint Maarten, Committee for Civil Servants Union (CCSU), and his Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly, have been successfully completed. She expresses confidence that the Justice Package will be signed upon Parliament's approval of the 2023 Budget Amendment.

Minister Richardson urges Members of Parliament to recognize the paramount importance of this amended budget, emphasizing the impact on justice personnel who have long awaited resolution to their labor matters since 2010.

"A lot of time, focus, and efforts have been dedicated to regulating this matter for the men and women of law enforcement in Sint Maarten. We have arrived at the finish line, and we need the Members of Parliament to approve the budget so that this long overdue matter can be rectified and the absence of these vital laws that has negatively impacted the workers and their families can be a thing of the past," stated Minister Richardson.