Governor to offer teachers a pension plan similar to that of police
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that he would offer teachers a pension plan similar to the one he granted to the police.
“Tomorrow’s meeting [between central government representatives and teachers] is going to deal with that, but we already have the benefit that we did it with the police. The model to follow is the one we follow with the police, because the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board has already given way to that and what we have to do is identify the state funds that we have recurring to subsidize it,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “At the same time, the amounts also [have to be determined] because the teachers are not all in the same position. The goal is to improve the pension as we did with the police officers.”
Pierluisi will hold a meeting with teachers’ unions today where he will present his plan to improve teachers’ salaries and explain the retirement mechanisms that the oversight board endorsed for the police.
“On my behalf, at the meeting [last Thursday] I held with the union leaders who represent the teachers, I promised to sign two bills that are before the Legislative Assembly or on the way to La Fortaleza,” the governor said. “One of them is that the minimum salary for teachers will be around $2,750 per month for teachers who have a bachelor’s degree. There is a higher salary for those with a master’s degree and an even higher salary for those with a doctorate.”
“We have federal funds to subsidize or finance that increase until 2024, but AAFAF [the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority] is doing everything possible to identify state funds so that this increase is permanent based on state funds. That is my commitment,” Pierluisi said. “I have to say that I asked the [oversight] board for that increase in the preparation of the Revised Fiscal Plan; we asked for the increase of $1,000 and the board did not grant it. That generated the controversy and the protests.”
The governor also said he won’t be able to satisfy all public employees who request salary increases.
“I can’t please everyone. That’s impossible. I mean, I can’t please everyone who wants a raise or additional funds. That’s not how this works,” Pierluisi told reporters. “We have limited resources, but I am focusing on the essential areas of government. That is, safety, education and health. And in these three areas, I am attending to the claims that I believe are fair; and when the [oversight] board does not give me a pass, well, I use the federal funds that we have at our disposal, but that is my intention.”
For the some 45,000 public employees that Pierluisi did not identify as essential, he said “we managed that after I started [as governor] … the Board gave way to a new classification and compensation plan for central government employees.”
“As a general rule, salary scales will increase,” the governor said, adding that the process will start in 2023. “In some cases not because they are already in a very high position.”