Deal reached for teachers to receive incentive for pandemic work
Grichelle Toledo Correa, general secretary of the Puerto Rico Teachers Association’s local syndicate
By John McPhaul
Puerto Rico Teachers Association (AMPR) President Víctor Bonilla Sánchez and the general secretary of the AMPR’s local syndicate, Grichelle Toledo Correa, said they left satisfied on Thursday from a meeting with acting Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés after it was announced that teachers would receive “a substantial financial incentive for their work during the pandemic.”
Bonilla Sánchez and Toledo Correa did not reveal the amount of the incentive they agreed upon or when teachers would receive it, but they gave assurances -- in a written statement -- that it is a step forward in their claims for wage justice.
“We have long fought for that incentive and in the coming weeks Secretary Ramos Parés will be making this announcement,” Correa Toledo said. “In addition, we are working on an increase in the salary scale, the possibility that the teaching career be [better] paid and reactivated again. Everything is a process and some things may take time, but we know that they will come and that is what matters to us.”
She also stated that they brought to Ramos Parés the concern that arose among the teachers about the new executive order issued Wednesday by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi that requires vaccination against COVID-19 for public employees.
“We agreed with the secretary that, according to the established protocols, those teachers who have not been vaccinated for illness or religious reasons may work, as long as they present medical certification or an affidavit from their religious denomination,” Toledo Correa said.