Published On: Wed, Dec 4th, 2013

Meteo personnel demands payments overtime

MeteoWILLEMSTAD - The Operational Department at the Weather Chamber of the Meteorological Service (Meteo) demands payment from the government for their overtime worked between 2005 and 2011. In addition, they cannot have any days off because of staff shortage. According to the employees, the government just keeps promising but there is no action. They met this morning with their union to discuss the situation.

"One of the biggest problems is the shortage of staff," union representative, Gregory Wilson said. "One consequence is that the staff employed in the Operational Service had to work overtime between 2005 and 2011. Due to the shortage of staff, the management has decided to pay out the hours, but that has not happened to date." This also applies to hours incurred on official holidays. “That's about 11 days per year, but the government does not want to pay. Obviously we do not agree with this and demand a guaranteed of the government to pay these hours.”

In addition, employees get one once a year bonus for the work that they provide to the BES islands. 2011 and 2012 have not been paid yet. A fourth point is that employees with an x number of years in service will receive a bonus. “In the rules of the government it states that these workers should receive a reward for an anniversary, but that does not happen. The fifth point is a number of new people have gone through the recruitment and selection process and therefore have succeeded. These people are still not employed at the Meteo.

“The employees are demanding a mandate for the payment of their overtime," Wilson declared. “But with this only the first two points will be resolved. According to management, the documents relating to the payments are stuck at the Ministry of Administration, Planning and Services of Minister Etienne van der Horst . We immediately contacted him and the minister has acted right away. Van der Horst has made ​​the promise that this month the hours will be paid. This is not even under his responsibility, but of Minister Earl Balborda. To date, Balborda’s ministry did not even react to this issue,” Wilson said.

Employees accept no more talks and want action. They demand that Balborda sign the payment mandate. Finally the union representative wants Minister of Finance, Dr. Jose Jardim to ensure that the payment will take place this month. The union and employees met today to discuss exactly what they want and expect from Minister Jardim.

By Aruna Jhagru

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