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Government Employees' Retirement

Open Letter

This letter is an attempt to bring to the public’s attention the dilemma that retirees are facing here in the Virgin Islands. Those responsible must be brought to justice, for herein lies a criminal practice in the deliberation and delegation of responsibility and accountability

Governor of the Virgin Islands, Kenneth Mapp

Lt. Governor, Osbert Potter

All Senators of the 31st Legislature of the Virgin Islands

Department of Education, Government of the Virgin Islands

Commissioner of the Department of Education Sharon McCullum

Austin Nibbs, Administrator of Government Employee Retirement Fund of the Virgin Islands(GERS)

All officers of the Government Employee Retirement Fund of the Virgin Islands

GERS Board Members Mr. Callendar

Lawrence, Aqui, President of the Bank of Nova Scotia

Samuel Grey, Attorney, Bank of Nova Scotia

American Federation of Teachers, Virgin Islands Chapter

Basil Ottley, Office of Insular Affairs, D.O.I.

AARP, Virgin Islands Chapter

Legal Aid, Mr. Austin

All Others Accountable

St. Croix Community; Retirees

Re: Retirement: Third World Country Consciousness as It Affects Daily Lives of its Citizens in the Virgin Islands USA


Are you planning a retirement in the Virgin Islands? Were you a ‘lucky’ party to secure one those coveted glorious good government jobs that promises a ‘pie in the sky, milk and honey’ compensation and benefits package? Are you employed with the Government of the Virgin Islands and plan to secure your post-retirement ‘goldpot’ investment based on your employment workforce contributions?

Are you secure in the knowledge that your retirement annuity is intact available to tap when it comes time to collect? When Antoine L. Joseph, a district court judge having one of the highest offices in the land is not respected, and he fails to get paid for time served, what leveraging power do I as a ‘common citizen’ possess in securing my due? Joseph and five other presiding judges had to execute a judgement against GERS to mandate their pay. When has it become fashionable to have to bring legal action against a body to perform a legal requirement? What type of judicial, executive and legislative jurisprudence exist in this society that allow disorderly malaise and permit in a ‘civil’ society the type of barbaric conduct that occurs here in our Virgin Islands ‘home’?

What type of forces are in operation that allow the appointed public servants to knowingly let co-citizens suffer ill will behind incompetence, unprofessional conduct, willful, immoral, and unlawful acts. As a more than thirty-year educator, (twenty-three years in the Dept. of Educator) bahn-here, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, having lived and served no where else but the Virgin Islands, my home is being auctioned off on December 19, 2014. . Let the record show that I presently live in this home, have since 1991, that served the community, piloting projects, hosting self-help programs for over twenty years supported mostly by personal earnings, thousands of volunteer hours and members/supporters charitable giving. No, even though we approached the lender(Scotia) about forgiveness, it was not honored(inaccurate reporting corrected). Let the record show and bank statements reflect that prior to my retirement, August 31, 2013) payment on this property where I reside was current and timely. December 31, 2014 makes sixteen months, that not one written formal word from GERS or the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Education has been forwarded to me regarding the status of my retirement annuity and when payment would be forthcoming, a business as usual practice I have come to find out. Only to provide a retirement NOPA, a letter that indicates, I am not on payroll, and a recent letter to Scotia Bank that could not help in taking my home off the auction block(letter still could not provide an actual date of pay). Let the record show that I do not consent to this unlawful act, that I resist all its intentions.

Hundreds of thousands march in Washington and throughout the United States to protest a menacing practice of racially motivated crimes against humanity. Remaining silent signifies ‘consent’. If you as a Virgin Islander do not attach importance to your retirement issue or any you deem important for that matter through meaningful public protest, no one either will give it importance. Wake up call people! Of even greater concern is the projection of the October 1, 2013 Actuarial Valuation and review report prepared by GERS system actuary, Segal Consulting projecting that the retirement system will become insolvent or unable to make its required payments to retirees in the year 2025 if…. There is an increase in the unfunded system obligations which means that the funded ratio—the amount of funding in hand compared to the amount needed—has continued to decline from 45.7% to 40.2%. Segal Consulting now projects that the system will be insolvent, or unable to make its required payments to retirees, in 2025. Much of this is perpetuated by fraud, incompetence, mismanagement, plain old, we don’t give a damn!

We are actually the people of the first world because the people of color around the world are civilized ; we have become uncivilized through indoctrination, imitation, integration, intimidiation, fear and of course consent-our own. Let not the sun set on your knowledge of these things and not act. Execute your first amendment, natural and God-given rights. Become proactive, positive and non-consenting. Some say, today for me, tomorrow for you.

Barbara D. Knight, former government employee, retiree

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