Governor: ‘Flu’ protest absences may be legal, and immoral
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Monday said public employees resorting to the so-called “flu” to protest in favor of salary raises may be doing something legal that is also immoral.
“There are things that can be legal and are immoral,” the governor said. “There is a legal mandate here, because we are a society of law and order.”
He said the government’s personnel rules give workers the right to miss work because of sickness, but workers should not abuse those rights.
“And what I ask of agency heads is that they enforce their personnel regulations,” Pierluisi said. “I don’t want them to stray from the law. But I do appeal to the public conscience, particularly to those who provide essential services who I am sure do not want to harm the rights of others by promoting their own, because that is where they must go.”
The governor added that “one should never transgress the rights of others; one defends one’s own, but not at the expense of others.”
Pierluisi made his statements in response to the calls for absenteeism in the form of protest, which began with the police (Blue Flu), firefighters (Red Flu), teachers (Teacher’s Flu) and one anticipated by the employees of the Family Department, who are responsible for processing social aid (PAN Flu).
The calls have encouraged workers to call in sick to their jobs as a form of protest. Depending on the agency, public employees can be absent from two to three days due to illness, without the need to present a medical certificate.