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Monday, August 14, 2006 

Monday, August 14, 2006 - Philipsburg, St. Maarten, N.A.

Back to school

Many parents in St. Maarten will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief this morning, after widespread concern about a possible teachers strike ended with word last night that the Executive Council had agreed to pay the NAf. 150 per month “transitional allowance” from the end of August as an advance on a new salary structure. This means that, with the exception of a few cases of delay due to construction, school can start today as scheduled and parents don’t have to worry about making alternative arrangements for their children after a long vacation.

A repeat of what happened two years ago, when so-called “meetings during working hours” disrupted the beginning of the school year and as a result much of society for several days was prevented, be it at the last minute. That it took till Sunday night and therefore left many in uncertainty up to this morning is regrettable, but important now is to ensure that the new school year not only gets off to a smooth start, but continues that way, by dealing with the issues that remain, such as the retroactive payment.

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