“agreement reached between NPNA and Union on transfer of personnel can be dubbed as “not binding”
On August the 23rd 2011, a shareholders meeting was held with as agenda point the announcement of NPNA to halt their postal activities by October 2011 on Sint Maarten.
During that meeting, the Shareholders representative of NPNA Sint Maarten, Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams requested NPNA to present the Government of Sint Maarten with a plan of approach on how NPNA intends to conclude its postal activities.
By letter of August 26th 2011, the NPNA sent a proposal to the Government of Sint Maarten regarding to the transfer of the postal activities including the personnel to Postal Services Sint Maarten NV.(hereafter PSS). This letter however, was not considered a plan, by the Shareholder representative, and this was communicated to NPNA accordingly. NPNA was further advised to at least make mention of the date of transfer of the (business) information such as financial data, contractual and- other obligations. NPNA has not responded to the aforementioned directives to date.
With regard to the signing of the agreement between NPNA and PSS, the following must be pointed out. Considering that there was no agreement reached between PSS and NPNA, a working group was established by the Shareholder representative of PSS. This working group consists of a representative of Government, the supervisory board of PSS, the managing director of PSS, a representative(s) of the SMCU, and a member of the cabinet of the Prime Minister.
The intention of the working group is to advise the Shareholder of PSS on a plan of action to get PSS up and running. This plan has to be presented to Government at the beginning of October 2011. Therefore, the signing of the transfer protocol between NPNA and SMCU came as an utter surprise as this matter was never discussed in the working group, while the members have been meeting on a regular basis.
Although the Shareholder representative stressed in abovementioned letter to NPNA that an agreement must be reached between NPNA and the union concerning the transfer of personnel, these parties cannot sign an agreement binding a third party. Unfortunately the latter is exactly what has transpired. The third party, in this case PSS, was not invited for the signing or negotiations of this agreement.
The working group is awaiting an explanation from the union and will thereafter advise the Shareholder representative upon receiving clarification. Until then, the Shareholder representative is unable to offer any comments on the validity and implications of the signing of this agreement between NPNA and PSS.