NEW Press-Briefing the latest Salary Disussion In 2 Weeks
Talks with the Netherlands about salaries of civil servants continue, ‘press conference in two weeks’
At the end of this month there should be clarity about the wage cut of 12.5 percent for civil servants in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. According to insiders, the intention is to hold a press conference when State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen (Kingdom Relations) is in Aruba.
Insiders in The Hague report that talks about this are continuing, with the aim of reaching an agreement in two weeks. “Good news” would then be reported on June 20, during a joint press conference of the Secretary of State and the three Caribbean Prime Ministers.
Civil servants have been handing in for two years
Civil servants, teachers and everyone who receives a salary on the islands through the government have already had to give up part of their salary for about two years. The ‘solidarity levy’ was one of the hard demands of the Netherlands to lend the islands hundreds of millions. They were short of money due to the corona crisis.
Prices rise sharply, purchasing power falls
Because prices have risen so fast, the islands are allowed to pay one hundred percent of the salaries again. The Netherlands again imposes conditions.
Aruba: another five percent next month
The islands must pay the wages themselves and are not allowed to borrow money again, is one of the Dutch requirements. Aruba wants their people to recieve five percent by the end of July. “We are working to meet the conditions to be able to pay out next month,” said Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes.
Civil servants in Aruba will receive one hundred percent of their monthly salary next year. Curaçao and Sint Maarten are not yet completely settled.
The Netherlands wants civil servants who earn the least to be given priority over more money; the top earners through the government must permanently lose 25 percent.
Cabinet of Curaçao seeks support from parliament
Finance Minister Javier Silvania has collected money for Curaçao to pay at least 3 percent in holiday pay to civil servants. The expenditure is included in the adjusted budget for 2022.
However, Curaçao – just like Aruba and Sint Maarten – must first pass a law from the Netherlands that regulates top incomes. Those who receive a salary through the government cannot earn more than 130 percent of what the prime minister receives.
Whether the Curaçao officials will see more money on their payslips now depends on parliament. According to Minister Silvania, his cabinet has “kindly but urgently asked parliament to schedule an emergency meeting” and to provide “clarity” with a vote for or against.
Islands struggle in the wake of the corona pandemic
The islands believe that they are in a ‘very challenging situation’ due to all the strict conditions imposed by the Netherlands and the economic blows caused by the pandemic. There is a lack of money while life is getting more expensive, they say.
“Beware of framing in the media”
“The framing in some media surprises me,” says another insider from the islands. “We are not at all angry with Curaçao.”
“The documents must always be delivered within a certain period; the meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers will be carefully planned. Because that is the time to formalize the preparatory talks and agreements. Only when an agreement has been reached will it be scheduled.”