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Johnson points to no agreement with Government and WITU.

stuart06112018PHILIPSBURG:---  President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson revealed his position on the proposed cost-cutting measures which are affecting the working class of St.Maarten.

"It seems there have been a lot of discussions and ad hoc decisions but there is no agreement solidified with WITU,” Johnson said.

The WITU President submitted a correspondence addressed to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs outlining WITU's firm stance.

"While I am appreciative that the base salary of our members and by extension all workers involved remains, the fact is we have no solid agreement on the other proposals," he said.

In Johnson’s letter dated Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 six questions were asked to the Prime Minister,

1. What is the projected duration for the proposed cost-cutting measures?

2. Is the proposed cost-cutting measures only applicable for 2020 and 2021 as the Government of St. Maarten has indicated no liquidity support from The Netherlands is required for 2022?

3. Are you open to a formal agreed position with WITU for the handling of the vacation allowances for 2020, 2021, and all subsequent years?

4. Are there other measures such as increasing of taxes or conditions that will directly impact our membership? If so, please indicate what are those measures and their respective duration?

5. What is the update regarding the outstanding Cost of Living Adjustment 2012 to the present Payment?

6. What does the COHO Country Package for Education entail?

Johnson noted that "the ongoing proposed cost-cutting measures are having an effect of monumental proportions which is negatively impacting the quality of education for our students."

He continued, "I recoil in fear on the deep impact these proposed cost-cutting measures will continue to have if there is no solid conclusion or true empathy to the people of St.Maarten.”

The WITU President further stated; "if you continue to devalue educators and stifle the working class there will be no middle class anymore."

In reiterating his position, Johnson declared, “I remain deeply concerned about the quality of education for our students and the welfare of our educators as these proposed cost-cutting measures continue to directly have an impact on our country.”

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