WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao – During an informal meeting that took place on the 29th of October 2019 in the Acoya Curaçao Resort, Villas and Spa, the parties within the CGOA (Centraal Georganiseerd Overleg in Ambtenarenzaken, CGOA) in Curaçao, which are on the one hand, the Government, and on the other, the five representative union organizations (ABVO, STrAF, NAPB, SAP and Sitek) represented in the Central Commission of trade Unions (Centrale Commissie van Vakbonden, CCvV) reached an agreement on a list of priorities for the period November 2019 till April 2020 in order to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in the operation of the public administration and to reduce personnel costs.
The list of priorities needs to be ratified by the two parties during a formal meeting of the CGOA and entails relevant issues regarding the legal position of civil servants and reforms within the government administration in order to achieve more efficiency, effectiveness and cost reduction.
The CGOA, which is instituted by law, is the official bilateral platform of consultation and agreement between the government, represented by the Minister of Governmental Affairs, Planning and Public Service (Bestuur,
Planning en Dienstverlening, BPD), and the five union organizations which represent government employers. In the CGOA-platform bilateral social dialogue is being held between the parties involved on all matters of interest regarding the legal status of government employers, including general rules concerning key issues in human resources.
Before government can decide on matters regarding the legal status of government personnel, the social dialogue must have taken place within the CGOA-platform and the two parties must have reached an agreement. Such an agreement will be laid down in a covenant signed by both parties. This institutionalized form of bilateral social dialogue is in accordance with the Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151), of the International Labor Organization (ILO), that was ratified by Curaçao in 2016.
At the start of the informal meeting of the CGOA which took place last Tuesday, the Prime Minister His Excellency Mr. Eugène Rhuggenaath elaborated on the principles of the growth strategy and the growth accord that his cabinet has signed with the Dutch Government. During his speech the Prime Minister emphasized the need for cost reduction and strengthening of the administrative efficiency in accordance with both the growth strategy and the accord signed with The Hague.
The Minister of BPD His Excellency Mr. Armin Konket then elaborated on the two trajectories, which entail, in the first place, the trajectory of ‘quick wins’ (a temporary wage freeze) and secondly a more structural trajectory based on administrative reforms.
Afterwards, the union representatives gave their point of view and brought their priorities forward.
Secretary-general of the CGOA Mr. Raul Henriquez and the Director of Human Resources of the Government Mrs. Luz Celeste Johannes introduced a new working method for the CGOA that will guarantee that the priorities, parties agreed upon, will be met within the timeframe of six months.