Published On: Wed, Dec 11th, 2013

Unions met with civil servants

UnionsWILLEMSTAD - The seven unions representing government employees, STSK, STRaF, Sitek, SAP, NAPB, Curatca and ABVO met in the New Song building in Muizenberg, with the employees in the public sector. The unions informed their members about the negotiations between them and the government and the austerity measures which will affect them greatly.

Before the meeting began a pastor addressed a full house with officials and shared encouraging words to them. The union SEU was also present to provide support. The chairman of the union, Errol Bishop said that officials should not accept the plans of the government and to fight for justice.

According to union leader Wendy Calmes today the officials will determine what steps the unions should take. “In 2010, a social plan was signed and it clearly indicates that the government should not make any changes to the labor conditions of the civil servants until 2015," Calmes said. "The government now expects us to freeze the pay raise for two years at their request. This request, we cannot accept. During the meeting the members were given the opportunity to express their opinion on the state of affairs and indicate to the unions what they have to do.”

The government also wants to include cuts in the holiday pay and early retirement. In addition, the unions find it unacceptable that the retirement age will be raised to 65 years without any transitional arrangements. "The government must make decisions in consultation with the unions, but that does not happen," the unions declared. The meeting lasted until 11:00.

By Aruna Jhagru

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