~No political agenda
PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson stated, “We want to see a genuine effort to truly ensure one of our nation’s greatest assets, teachers and staff in education are properly taken care of.”
Johnson minced no words in expressing that the WITU is not being political, "I understand with our Country seemingly heading into yet another election, I expect some level of rhetoric, but I had hoped that there would be some improvements to the level of discourse and the rhetoric would be less especially from a Member of Parliament."
The Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) submitted a letter to Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and the Council of Ministers on Friday, February 10th, 2023.
In the letter, the WITU stated, “The Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) board attended a meeting with you and the Ministers of ECYS, TEATT, and Finance on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023. Clarity was provided by WITU and your person, regarding the official presence of the (Committee for Civil Servants Unions) CCSU Chairman Mr. R. Boasman, and CCSU Secretary General Mrs. S. Martis-Laville.”
The WITU brought forth several concerns about Communication, DPE Summer School 2022, COLA, Indexation, Vacation allowance, Vacation schedules, Increments, Salary scales, and Pension Age of 67 (Assurance was given by you that this is not being considered by the Government).
The letter of the WITU further mentioned, “Prior to the start of our meeting the WITU formally submitted a 10-page document outlining the grievances in Public Education. This letter was on request of the Minister of ECYS drs. R. Samuel as an outcome of the meeting of January 20, 2023.”
The WITU expects the following:
□ All communication sent from the Government of St. Maarten should be received by all
employees within the Ministry of ECYS, especially Public Education staff.
□ All presentations and discussions regarding Civil Servants will be shared and handled
among all unions.
□ An Assessment of the salary scales from the Wages and Salaries department.
□ An Assessment of teachers in the category of A, B, C.
□ The completion of the processes to ensure all employees of the DPE Summer School 2022
receive their second payment before or by the end of April 2023.
□ The COLA, Function Book, increasing the vacation allowance, and Salary Scales will be
handled through the CCSU.
□ Vacation allowance for 2022/2023 and onward will be paid as expected by June of each
□ Vacation Schedule 2022/2023 will be discussed within the Council of Ministers and
consideration will be given for a change of the start date for the school year 2023/2024.
□ All employees of Public Education will receive their salary increment by the
end of August 2023.
Johnson via the letter of the WITU outlined, “In closing, the unanimous decision of the WITU membership, is if the key deadlines as agreed in the meeting with you and other ministers dated, February 8th, 2023 are not adhered to by Government, WITU will immediately convene a General Membership meeting.”
Additionally, the WITU has taken note of the media reports of the reconstruction works at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School in Dutch Quarter will commence soon.
“We are delighted to see further attention will soon take place at the school as WITU brought the concerns forward on March 4, 2022, for the wellbeing of the staff and students. We will surely closely monitor the reconstruction works at the school as a healthy working environment for staff and students should be a priority,” Johnson concluded.