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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker demands data on salary hikes for employees in positions of trust

Rep. Domingo Torres García

By The Star Staff

Rep. Domingo Torres García gave the executive branch 10 days to provide information on salary increases given to employees in positions of trust.

He made the request following reports that employees in positions of trust in the government received salary hikes.

“It is extremely alarming that the Office of Management and Budget has approved increases to trust employees when the Financial Oversight and Management Board [FOMB] has not yet authorized or evaluated the Classification and Remuneration Plan for these employees,” said Torres García, who chairs the Labor Affairs Committee in the island House of Representatives. “Even the executive director of the Office of Administration and Transformation of Human Resources has admitted that the FOMB has not yet expressed itself about this plan.”

The Popular Democratic Party lawmaker said the increase leaves a lot left to say, especially when career government employees have not seen their own salaries raised. “We are still waiting for the guidelines so that career employees can go from the minimum, to the medium and maximum type. That is to say, the government has dragged its feet for career employees, but has been agile in raising the salaries of trust employees.”

The Labor Affairs Committee will grant 10 business days to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Human Resources Administration and Transformation to provide the information.

“There cannot be two versions of the government, one that establishes extremely high standards so that career employees can obtain better remuneration and a vision with extremely flexible standards so that trust employees receive increases without control,” Torres García said. “It is time for public employees to be respected, and if increases are to be granted, they must be on equal terms under the uniform process contained in the Classification and Remuneration Plans.”

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia justified the recent salary increase granted to central government trust employees. He insisted that the action responds to the fact that supervisors, everywhere, must earn more than those they supervise, something that on many occasions was not happening in the government.

“Definitely, it is justified, but it is still missing,” the governor said. “More adjustments are needed because supervisors have to earn more than those they supervise and we have adjusted the salaries of the vast majority of career government officials. We are talking about more career officials in the government; they are more than 95% of public employees in Puerto Rico. More than 95% of public employees in Puerto Rico are permanent employees, permanent public servants of the government. There is a supervisory management staff, it is a basic concept of administration that they must earn more, have a higher compensation than the staff that they are supervising and we have been in the process of doing that within the budget that the government has.”

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