The San Juan Daily Star
Governor: PREPA workers who won’t work for Genera could land at DNER
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) employees who decline to work for Genera PR will be transferred to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday.
At a news conference to discuss the economy, the governor announced that the DNER has said it needs more employees and would welcome most of those who do not choose to work with Genera PR.
The transition package for those moving to Genera includes six months worth of salary.
“The government’s commitment is to relocate personnel that do not want to work with Genera PR, honor their salary and respect their acquired rights,” Pierluisi said. “The agency that is basically expressing the greatest interest in receiving these personnel is the DNER.”
The DNER has publicly said it needs to strengthen its structures to conserve Puerto Rico’s biodiversity, including maintaining the Ranger Corps.
La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Noelia García Bardales added that there is also a need at the DNER for personnel to maintain and operate the flood pumps that the agency manages in various regions of fhe island.
“The knowledge of equipment operation that the personnel of the Electric Power Authority have is particular,” she said. “So the need and the expertise merge and it is a perfect match.”
PREPA employees have until today to take advantage of the benefits offered by the central government.
Genera PR, the private company that will manage the utility’s power plants, has the goal of hiring 800 PREPA employees. So far it has hired “close to” 450 workers, Ivan Báez, vice president of government and public affairs for General PR, said in a radio interview.
Genera PR will take over PREPA’s power plant operations on June 1, 2023.
As happened when LUMA Energy took over PREPA’s electricity transmission and distribution system, many PREPA workers have refused to work with Genera PR for fear they may lose their pension benefits.
Employees who do not go to Genera have the option of moving to other government agencies.