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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Judicial employees worry about funds for salary hikes

By The Star Staff

The president of the Association of Judicial Employees, Amircal Gerena Román, on Thursday criticized the decision of the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) to allocate $18,5 million for the salary increase for employees of the Judicial Branch instead of the $26.6 million allocated in the budget.

Gerena Román said that the employees of the Judiciary are “extremely concerned” in the face of the decision since it “stirs uncertainty.”

“With what has happened now, we don’t know if the needs of the employees are going to be met... For now, we are going to meet with the legislative leaders of the House and Senate to see the steps to follow,” he said.

Gerana Román made an energetic call to the Board and to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maite Oronoz to be transparent and offer details on the allocation of funds and explain the discrepancies in the budgets.

“The registration of judicial employees deserves a clear and detailed explanation of how this decision was reached and what measures will be taken to guarantee the correct functioning of the Compensation Plan. It is essential that the remuneration be fair, adequate and consistent with the valuable work carried out by the employees of the Judiciary in the administration of justice”, he claimed.

The classification and remuneration plan for judicial employees “is a crucial tool to ensure fair remuneration and adequate recognition of their essential work in the judicial system. However, the allocation of funds significantly less than what was approved raises serious questions about the real commitment of the authorities to justice and the well-being of those who perform fundamental functions in the legal system. The plan cannot be implemented in isolation, but must be accompanied by a proportional and equitable salary increase for all judicial employees,” he said.

Similarly, the president urged Governor Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, as well as legislative leaders, to “take action on the matter and review the allocation of funds to the aforementioned plan. It is the responsibility of the government and political leaders to ensure that the judicial system is adequately resourced to function efficiently and fairly.”

He stressed that the Association of Judicial Employees will continue to be “vigilant” of this issue and will take the “necessary actions” to ensure that the rights and well-being of its members are protected.

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