St. Eustatius

Tensions Rise at St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation: Employees and Management Clash Over Compliance Issues

ORANJESTAD- Tensions between the employees of the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation (SEHCF) and Management seem to getting bigger, with a concrete risk of escalating over the next few days.

On March 11, 2024 the All for One 1 (AF1) sent out a letter to Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) addressed to ZJCN director Herbert Bernard and Abigail Norville where attention is asked for various ongoing issues of non-compliance at the organization. Mention is made, among others, non-compliance to CLA agreements, misuse of authority, victimization, nepotism, conflict of interest and intimidation.

The union concretely refers to ongoing issue with the uniforms for the nurses, the hiring of people close to Management for which no vacancy was ever published, the lack of payment of Cessantia to employees who were entitled to receive this and the double role of HRM consultant Juliet Hassel of FWG, who is at the same time the Secretary to the SEHCF Board. 

In the letter, AF1 president Charles Woodley calls on VWS and ZJCN to investigate matters and come into action. 


Interestingly enough, SEHCF Board Director Frank Rothweiler on March 13, 2024 sent out a memo to staff members demanding that the staff will resume wearing their normal uniforms instead of the black T-shirts that were donned to protest the lack in provision of uniforms according to the stipulations of the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA). 

In his memo, Rothweiler states that as the situation with the uniforms has been ‘explained’ to the staff, suggesting that with this the issue has been solved. A version the union representing the employees, could not disagree with more. 

Charles Woodley on behalf of AF1 and the employees on Wednesday afternoon expressed his dismay to the BES-Reporter with the attitude of Rothwheiler and the SEHCF Board. “We really don’t know what gives Rothweiler the idea that he can just demand that the nurses comply with uniform rules, knowing full well that they are still in violation of the CLA. Furthermore, Rothweiler in his memo points to a non-existent document in the form of a Quality Handbook. In the Personnel Handbook, which is an existing document, their uniform rules are stipulated. However, these rules are not only in place for the staff members, but also for Management. How is it now that you demand compliance from our members with the uniform rules, when these uniforms have not, or not completely been distributed. But worse, when it comes to your own uniform, you are also not in compliance”, said Charles.

Protest March

Woodley also stated that the Union would not accept the tone nor the contents of the memo sent out by the director. The AF1 president furthermore suggested that preparations are being made for a protest march, in which concrete action is demanded to address all points brought forward by the Union in their letter to VWS and ZJCN, and not just the single issue of uniform. 

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