The first steps set towards a joint care collective labor agreement for the BES!

‘Under the theme ‘Together we are stronger’, the first collective meeting between employers and employees took place on July 27 and 28, 2022, in St. Maarten for arriving at a joint Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) for the health care organizations on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This would be the first for the BES region!

Employers and employees have wanted to come to this joint CLA for years. In the CLA of the healthcare organizations on Saba and St. Eustatius and the CLA of Fundashon Mariadal (FM), parties have agreed to work towards a joint CLA for which the employment conditions level of FM’s CLA is an important starting point.

In the meeting, the employers and the unions discussed this joint CLA for the first time under the guidance of FWG Progressional People. The employers are Saba Cares Foundation, St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation, St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home Foundation, Fundashon Mariadal and Mental Health Caribbean. The workers affiliated with the unions are represented by Saba United People’s Labor Union and Association (SUPLUA), All for 1 Union Sint Eustatius and General Federation of Boneriaanse Werknemers (AFBW). During the meeting, the employers and the trade unions shared what they each want to achieve with this joint CLA, what the common interest is and what they consider important to successfully complete this process together.

One joint collective labor agreement

All parties see the joint CLA as an important instrument for a properly functioning labor market and for addressing major current HR issues together. Parties have established that these issues can only be addressed effectively if they work together.

Continuing to provide high-quality care to citizens of the Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba is a top priority for all care organizations and unions. This is not possible without sufficient staff who are well trained and motivated. A joint CLA with a good employment conditions package that is the same for all employers is a precondition for preventing competition on employment conditions with all the negative labor market and financial consequences. In addition, this gives the employers the opportunity to better work together to attract qualified personnel.

Efforts

Reaching the joint framework collective labor agreement requires a great deal from the parties. The framework collective labor agreement contributes to ensuring that high-quality care can continue to be provided to the citizens of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in an effective and efficient manner. It also contributes to improving the income position of employees and thus to reducing poverty on the BES. Last but not least, all parties have expressed their strong support that the current differences in salaries between the islands for the same functions are no longer justifiable.

Employers: Saba Cares Foundation, St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation, St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home Foundation, Fundashon Mariadal and Mental Health Caribbean.
Unions: Saba United People’s Labor Union and Association (SUPLUA), All for 1 Union Sint Eustatius and Algemene Federatie van Boneriaanse Werknemers (AFBW).


For further information:
On behalf of the employers:

Mrs. Judith Meijer Board of director of Saba Cares Foundation judith.meijer@sabacares.org.

On behalf of the unions:

AFBW, Ms. Saphira Janga – board secretary AFBW vakbondafbw@gmail.com
All for 1, Mr. Charles Woodley-President allfor1.statia@gmail.com
SUPLUA, Mrs. Ludwina Charles- President ludwinacharles@gmail.com

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