Philipsburg, July 16, 2020
The President of Parliament
Mr. Rolando Brison
Wilhelmina Straat #1
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Honorable President of Parliament
We the workers of the Ministry of Justice represented by the following unions NAPB, WICSU-PSU and ABVO,decided to come together on July 7, 2020, and pen the Minister of Justice Ms. Anna Richardson a letter. This decision was based on the numerous cancellations of meeting that were to be held between the Honorable Minister and the various Unions.
This letter was submitted to the Honorable Minister of Justice with the objective to inform of issues that warrants urgent attention and requested a confirmation of receipt within 48 hour sand to confirm if the requested time frame for the execution of the matters at hand met her approval.
In said letter, a request was made for confirmation of a proposed timeline that in our opinion, based on the matters at hand, could have been dealt with, within 7 days while others, would have taken a while longer thus 14 days were suggested.
The 48 hours passed and there was no response from the Honorable Minister, however seeing the urgent matters that was being handled at the same time, with regards to the deadline from State Secretary Knops, we took this into consideration and sent the Honorable Minister a reminder letter requesting an answer in an additional 24 hours.
On Wednesday July 15, 2020, we received a visit from the Honorable MP Buncamper and during his speech to us,he promised that he was going to the Honorable Minister and request her to respond to our letter as this was the least that she could do.
That afternoon our President Mr. Mauricia received a phone call from the Minister where she stated that she was going to call back with a time for us to meet with her. When the Honorable Minister called back she then informed our President that she did not respond to the letter due to the fact that she felt very disrespected because we the members gave her deadlines and who do we think we are to place demands on her, this was not accepted by the membership and we decided to go to our Administration Building in an attempt to persuade our Honorable Minister to speak with us. The Honorable Minister in turn sent a message via our president while we were at the building that she found us very disrespectful to come to the building demanding to meet with her as she is busy with her work and has already indicated that she will only meet with us as previously stated on Friday July 17, 2020and would receive a letter to this regard.
On Thursday July 16, 2020, our President received a phone call from the Honorable Minister informing him that “someone informed her that our President said she addressed him with obscene language”. We found that so inappropriate as we the members at that time was waiting on a response from the Honorable Minister with regards to our letter and could not get a response or the time of day from her. She also informed the president that a letter would be ready for him to collect and that it would be ready in the afternoon.
We, the workers decided to accompany our presidents as they went to collect the letter at our Administration Building. While waiting for the letter we were informed by the senior policy advisor, Mr. Romney,that the Honorable Minister was “on her way”. We were all elated that finally we had the attention of the Honorable Minister.
Unfortunately, after waiting for so long to hear the address of the honorable Minister, we the members within the Ministry of Justice found her approach, tone of voice, facial expression,and body language towards us totally intolerable and unacceptable.
During this time after almost 10 years of executing our daily duties,while awaiting our salary adjustment with the expectation that the Honorable Minister,will offer moral support and a clear view of the way forward in rectifying the Function Book.The Honorable Minister instead, addressed us in a way we felt totally disrespected as her behavior and conduct was totally unprofessional.
As the Honorable Minister so eloquently stated“I had a regular 9-5 job and was living within my means, I was content” that does not apply to some of us workers who are trying to maintain our daily way of life with the high cost of living and perform a risky job earning less than Naf. 3000.00 monthly.
Her statement depicting that she was born in St. Rose Hospital does not answer our questions or bring any clarity to the subject at hand.The Honorable Minister also boldly stated “ I don’t have to be in this position to eat, I was working a regular job just like you all to eat and pay my regular bills and I was content. I did not take the position for the name and salary”this statement is beyond disrespect and oozed all sense of arrogance. Honorable Chairman unlike the Minister who can brag of not needing the position we the Justice workers don’t have a position on our job and as such we have been struggling for the past ten years to pay our regular bills. In our opinion, as the Honorable Minister who was appointed to represent us, the Justice workers, we did not expect to hear these words coming from her lips.
We the WORKERS OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE gave the Honorable Minister the opportunity to speak and we listened, as painful as it was,we stood there and listened. However, when our Union Presidents and Ms.Phillips was trying to speak the Honorable Minister rudely interrupted on numerous occasions, by raising her voice and pointing fingers while screaming at Ms. Philips.
We are all adults and professionals the respect we gave the Honorable Minister, by listening to her, we were expecting and deserved the same in return.We feel offended and insulted with the approach of the Honorable Minister and just like the honorable Minister,we will like to do things the right way and not only in the media thus, we demand that the Honorable Minister address us with a written, and verbal apology in the presence of our Union Presidents and representatives just as she did in front of our Government Building no later than Thursday, July 23,2020or we are hereby requesting her to resign her position as Minister of Justice. We have given our Unions the mandate the forward this letter on our behalf to all addressees.
All Justice workers
Cc: Honorable Eugene Holiday
The Council of Ministers
The various Media entities