On September 20th, 2018, the commissioners of Education, the deputy Kingdom commissioner, school boards, representatives representation of the staff and the Trade Union on Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius signed the new terms of employment agreement for 2018 – 2020.
The deal includes:
There will be a salary increase of in total 3.75% over two years. Specifically this means a rise of the gross remuneration amounts of 2% effective from January 1, 2018 and a risk of the gross remuneration amounts of 1.75% effective from January 1, 2019;
Further development of the end-of-year bonus to a thirteenth month’s salary . This is implemented gradually effective from January 1, 2018. Specifically this means the following:
Effective from January 1, 2018 the nominal end-of-year bonus is replaced by a payment in percentage terms of 5% of the gross salary with a minimum of USD 1,500.00.
Effective from January 1, 2019 the end-of-year bonus amounts to 6% of the gross salary with a minimum of USD 1,500.00.
Effective from January 1, 2020 the end-of-year bonus amounts to 7% of the gross salary with a minimum of USD 1,500.00.
At the end of 2019 it is determined whether there is room available for further salary developments. The potential available room will then be discussed in the consultations with the trade unions and the employer. The guiding principle is that available room is basically used in or about 2020 or in subsequent years to realize an increase of the end-of-year bonus towards 8.33%.
Moment of payment of vacation allowance and end-of-year bonus: In the Consultative Committee Caribbean Netherlands of January 24, 2017 it was decided that the vacation allowance will be paid in the month of May and the end-of-year bonus in the month of November;
Deployment of additional means for terms and conditions of employment in the primary education:
In recent years the primary education has worked hard on improving the quality. The teachers in the primary education are basically classified in salary scale LA and partly in salary scale LB. The available resources are deployed for a structural additional increase of the salaries in scale LA of three per cent effective from January 1, 2018. The salary amounts in scales LB and LC are not increased additionally. Instead, the remaining resources, where possible, are used by the school boards for (1) the allocation of an additional increment (scale increment) for the teachers in LB (this can also be upon commencement of the employment) and/or (2) the advancement of teachers from scale LA to scale LB or from scale LB to scale LC. Due to this deployment the income position of the lowest paid teachers is relatively enhanced the most.
Additional work pressure resources for primary education:
In the European Netherlands on February 9, 2018, the trade unions, the Primary Education Council and the cabinet reached an agreement on the reduction of the work pressure in primary education. Resources were also made available for this for primary education in the Caribbean Netherlands.
How the resources for the reduction of the work pressure are deployed, is determined per school. With a more considerable role for the teachers, the ownership of the work pressure problem is stimulated for the teachers. That is why the deployment of resources is determined in consultation with the staff delegation of the participation council (MR). On basis of the meeting with the (representation of the) teachers and in consultation with the school principal, the school board determines the spending plan. Eventually, the school board is responsible for the deployment of resources to the reduction of work pressure.
In the spring of 2018, as a start of the implementation of these arrangements, employees of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the RCN/OCW had initial exploratory discussions with the trade union, participation councils, teachers, school boards and the Public Entities. Following that, a conference was organized in August 2018 during which the parties concerned were informed and consulted about the possible improvement of the current process of collective formation of terms and conditions of employment. Following that steps are now taken in the direction of improvement of the process of collective formation of terms and the conditions of employment, with attention for the necessary preconditions. This agreement on the terms and conditions of employment with a term of three years offers room for going into discussions (and arriving at arrangements) for improvement of the consultative model.