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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

New incentive for DE employees who have worked since start of pandemic

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia and Education (DE) Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés announced over the weekend a $1,500 quarterly incentive for agency employees who have worked since the beginning of the pandemic, for a total of $6,000 at the end of the fiscal year.

The money comes from federal Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. The first disbursement will be made on Nov. 15 of this year.

“Teaching and non-teaching employees demonstrated their commitment in times of pandemic by prioritizing the education of our children and youth,” the governor said in a written statement. “The efforts of these employees ensured that we had on-site classes with the necessary health and safety measures to guarantee the well being of the students. Likewise, these employees have been key in implementing the initiatives we have adopted to address the academic backlog.”

Ramos Parés noted that employees will receive a quarterly incentive of $1,500 from July 2022 to June 2023 (for a total of four quarters). The incentive does not constitute a fixed increase in the staff’s salary.

“It is important to emphasize that this will be a benefit subject to strict compliance with the requirements established by the agency, such as meeting attendance and productivity evaluations, among other elements to be considered,” the Education chief said. “Periodically, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative in case it is necessary to make changes to the requirements. Since this is a time-based incentive, it is not a recognition of an acquired right of the employees who will benefit from it, but rather an incentive to continue performing their work with efficiency and excellence.”

The quarterly incentive will be disbursed to all teaching and non-teaching employees of the Department of Education who work full-time at the agency. Full-time employees are considered to operate under regular, probationary, temporary, part-time (five hours or more), and irregular (five hours or more) work schedules.

The payment will be exclusively for teaching and non-teaching employees. School Food Authority employees benefit from a separate initiative already in effect.

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