Saba and Statia Healthcare workers sign first ever CLA

Almost three years after negotiations began, Healthcare workers, with their union, Windward Islands Healthcare Union (WIHCU) on Saba and St. Eustatius have finally signed a Collective Labor Agreement last week. The CLA is historic as it is the first agreement between the healthcare workers and their respective institutions on the islands.


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During the year 2011 and the beginning of 2012, the Auxiliary Home St. Eustatius, Benevolent Foundation Saba, Saba Healthcare Foundation and the St. Eustatius Healthcare Foundation worked with the WIHCU to make the CLA a reality.

The signing ceremony which took place at Queen’s Garden Resort in Troy Hill was attended by the representatives of the four medical institutions on both islands; The A.M. Edwards Medical Center and The A.E. Every Home for the Aged on Saba; The Queen Beatrix Medical Center and The Auxiliary Home on Saba. Also in attendance were government officials from both islands and healthcare workers.

The attendees were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies, Dave Levenstone after which there were renditions of the Dutch, Saban and Statian National Anthems. This was followed by an invocation from Nurse Joyce Chichester –Smith.

Speeches were given by the various presidents and directors of the medical institutions on both Saba and St. Eustatius.

During the speeches the speakers alluded to the toughness of the negotiations, in which Director of Saba Healthcare Dr. Joka Blauboer had been labeled the " Iron Lady" because of her shrewd command at the negotiating table.

After the signing of CLA by the representatives of both the union and healthcare institutions, Saba’s Commissioner of Health, Bruce Zagers gave a toast.

Healthcare workers were then treated to buffet followed by entertainment from the Occasionals and a DJ.