House to hold hearing on police compensation Thursday
By John McPhaul
Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González, the chairman of the House Government Committee, announced over the weekend that on Thursday the public proposals of police unions on unilateral changes made by the government to the agreement on retirement benefits for police officers will be discussed in a public hearing scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
The legislator added that for the past few months the handling of information related to the retirement of the police has been erratic and confusing, since in March when union leaders denounced an alleged change in the government’s position regarding the retirement age, the years of public service of the police and the compensation to which they will be entitled.
“A few months ago an alleged agreement was announced between the police unions, the government and the Financial Oversight and Management Board on the retirement of the police officers,” Ortiz González said. “However, in recent weeks the unions have indicated that the government now is presenting different details than those offered at that time. At the public hearing, we are going to investigate the agreement in order to clarify the situation and to guarantee the best possible agreement for the police. We seek to give you peace of mind on the subject.”
Last week, the oversight board announced the non-applicability of Law 80 due to the government’s negligence in supplying the necessary data to start its implementation. After that complaint, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia reported that his administration had delivered all the required documentation.
“Given the public contradictions on this important issue, I have called a public hearing to investigate this core issue for police and other public servants,” Ortiz González said.
Executive branch officials will be summoned to the hearing, as well as the officials from the union organizations that represent police, such as the FUPO, the Puerto Rican Police Union, COPS and the United Fighting Police Association Inc.