On Sunday July 14 the State Secretary of Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (SZW) Jetta Klijnsma began with an acquaintance visit on Caribbean Netherlands with her first stop being Saba. On Monday morning the State Secretary and her delegation had a meeting with the Island Council of Saba, represented by Governor Jonathan Johnson and Commissioner of Social Affairs and Labour, Chris Johnson. Commissioner Johnson held a presentation in which he stated the position of Saba. It is his opinion that the promise that had been made in 2009 about the Dutch acceptable level of facilities, still has to be applied on Saba.
He emphasized on the fact that there is poverty especially among the elderly who have to make a living from only the AOV pension.
The State Secretary stated that she is willing to look into this situation. “I will look at it. I can’t promise that the AOV will increase immediately. But this year I still have some money to combat poverty.” State Secretary Klijnsma asked the Island Council of Saba to come up with ideas for projects to combat poverty. In the meeting with the Island Council also came up the matter of employment permits and the minimum wage, with the intention to increase this.
Shortly after the conversation with the Island Council the State Secretary had a conversation with the representatives of the employers and employees. Employers were represented by the Saba Business Association (SBA), Saba Merchants Association (SMA) and the Saba-Sint Eustatius Chamber of Commerce. At the meeting, employers on Saba announced that they are willing to raise the minimum wage soon. On the first day in Caribbean Netherlands the State Secretary had also a conversation with the social worker of Saba and she visited a few elderly at their homes. On Tuesday July 16th State Secretary Klijnsma and her delegation will be travelling to St. Eustatius.
Press releease RCN July 16, 2013
Island Council ?? I hope this is a slip of the pen, if not than someone has to explain the RCN the difference between the Executive Council and the Island Council.