The San Juan Daily Star
Federated teachers’ retirees group calls for passage of bill to boost pensions
By The Star Staff
The Retirees and Pensioners chapter of the Puerto Rico Teachers Federation (FMPR by its Spanish initials) urged the island Legislature and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Sunday to approve a law that would raise teachers’ pensions.
In a written statement, the group said approving the proposed Law to Guarantee the Purchasing Power of Pensions for Public Employees is part of the broader struggle that seeks amendments to the approved commonwealth Debt Adjustment Plan. In such a way, debt deal language that restricts or hinders implementing a law that aims to protect the purchasing power of pensions would be eliminated.
The fight of pensioners to assert the principle of “zero cuts to pensions” implies not only avoiding cuts but preserving the purchasing power of retirees through periodic increases to offset hikes in the prices of consumer goods, the chapter said.
“Retirees will not stop actions until we recover both the right of active employees to enjoy their (dignified) pensions and that of retirees to have a Christmas Bonus, contributions to the medical plan, and periodic pension increases to compensate for inflation,” the group insisted.
Likewise, they invited pensioned teachers, as well as pensioners in general, to actively join the campaign to demand approval by the government of the Law to Guarantee the Purchasing Power of Pensions for Public Employees.
As part of this organizational effort, the FMPR Retirees Chapter is urging all teacher pensioners to participate in a march on Monday, May 1, International Workers’ Day, under the slogans: “Rights Won Will Not Be Renounced” and “Increase My Pension Due to Inflation.”
“Pensioners, through the Pensions Defense Front, achieved the approval of the Law for a Dignified Retirement of 2021. Among multiple issues, the law prevented the direct 8.5% cut of pensions and contemplated increases because inflation did not reduce the real value of pensions,” the group said. “It was outrageous to see how the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board, the Governor and the legislative [leaders] conspired in practice to facilitate the annulment of the Law for a Dignified Retirement. This constituted a betrayal of the will of our people.”
Despite the setback suffered after the annulment of the aforementioned law, the FMPR chapter intensified its work and stopped the oversight board from imposing the 8.5 percent cut to pensions in Act 53 of 2021, the group noted.