Concrete step made towards a joint CLA Health Care for the BES islands

The five healthcare organizations and the 3 unions on the BES islands want to establish one joint CLA for the health Care organization within the BES. During the three-day meeting that took place in mid-May, Fundashon Mariadal, Sint Eustatius Health Care Foundation, Sint Eustatius Auxiliary Home, Mental Health Caribbean and Saba Cares, with the unions AFBW, All for 1 and SUPLUA, agreed to harmonize (primary) labor conditions, so that from now on equal work, is rewarded equally.
The meeting took place on Sint Maarten and will be continued in September this year. Parties will then make
concrete agreements regarding the new CLA: the CLA Health Care BES, that will be applicable (initially) for the
five health Care organizations and their respective employees.
With the harmonization, the most important primary employment conditions have been brought into line with
the two existing, however still separate, CLA’s of Fundashon Mariadal and the healthcare organizations on Saba
and St. Eustatius. Parties have established the ambition with the new CLA Health Care BES. In addition, the
structure of the new joint CLA has been formalized. Next to equal primary employment conditions regardless of
where work is done on the BES, the structure also offers space for arranging island-specific aspects.
The CLA- parties have also agreed to set up a technical committee. The members of the technical committee will
work closely together in the coming months on the content of the CLA Health Care BES so that negotiations can
take place in September.
Together we are stronger
The meetings, where a direct follow-up of the conference “Together we are stronger” held on St. Maarten in
July 2022. In that conference, the parties established that the personnel and labor market issues facing each
island can only be addressed effectively together.
Healthcare organizations are experiencing increasing pressure from personnel shortage. This affects the quality
and continuity of care and underlines the urgency to take joint steps. The harmonization of the (primary)
employment conditions at the five healthcare organizations is an important step forward. It gives a boost to
mobility, making working on Saba and Sint Eustatius more attractive and counteracts competition among
The CLA parties want to take the next step in September; one joint CLA for all five healthcare organizations and
their employees. Parties do this on the basis of a joint ambition they have with the joint CLA Health CARE BES.
The Government Coalition Agreement 2021 – 2025 (A better future for the entire Kingdom) provides parties with
an important starting point. Equality and mutuality are key points, including the aim to make Bonaire, Saba and
Sint Eustatius an equal part of the Netherlands.
In this context, the joint CLA Health Care BES must specifically contribute to the ability to continue to provide
high-quality care to residents of the BES. Now and in the coming years. This is done by personnel who are (and
remain) well-trained, with a CLA that has good, competitive employment conditions and contributes to the
sustainable employability of the employees. Regarding the level of employment conditions, parties focus on the
CLA’s in European Netherlands and in particular the CLA for Hospitals, Mental Health and home care.