Funds disbursed for temp teachers’ pay increase

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced Sunday that the island Department of Education (DE) has begun the disbursement of close to $29 million for the retroactive pay increase for temporary teachers.

“My commitment to our temporary teachers was clear and forceful,” the governor said. “I promised them that I would give orders immediately so that the deserved increase that was owed to them would be provided. This government is committed to respecting and complying with the established agreements and our temporary teachers are no exception, especially when the work they provide is essential for the future of our children.”

Some 7,570 teachers have begun to see payments that represent adjustments to their salary from 2018 to the present reflected in their bank accounts. The salary increase, which totaled $28,971,256, has already been calculated in the rest of the two-week pay periods. That amount contains the teachers’ fringe benefits.

The Human Resources and Payroll divisions of the DE made the corresponding adjustments so that the payment was reflected in the payroll of March 15, Education Secretary Elba Aponte Santos said.

“We certainly value the extraordinary work our teachers do. We recognize the urgency for them to be adequately paid and to enjoy fair benefits for the important work they carry out with our children and youth,” Aponte Santos said. “Finally, we were able to identify the funds for the retroactive payment of the raise to our transitional teachers. We thank the governor for his efforts to make the payment possible.”

The DE secretary also announced that she is working on planning and identifying resources that help the agency provide better tools to teachers and school directors.

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