Public sector union asks governor for dialogue

By John McPhaul

Nelly Ayala, the interim president of the Puerto Rico Workers Federation (FTPR-AFL-CIO), asked Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Monday to open a process of dialogue with the authorized representatives of public servants, allowing them to collaborate in meeting the most pressing needs of public workers.

Ayala said that it is positive that the governor recognizes the importance of improving the salary conditions of public sector workers by separating items for an increase in his budget plan. However, she emphasized the importance of listening to the voice of those who represent this sector to ensure that the actions that are taken really imply improvement and solve the problems those workers face.

“It is necessary that we dialogue about the plans or actions for public workers, in order to avoid the result meaning greater inequity, discontent and demotivation,” the union leader said. “In order to do justice to public servants, in addition to an increase [in salary], it is necessary to listen to them and attend to other needs that they face in the agencies.”

The interim president of the FTPR-AFL-CIO said she has sent several letters to the governor and has held two meetings with Labor and Human Resources Secretary Carlos J. Rivera Santiago, in which the union even presented a written plan for addressing several needs, including collective bargaining agreements. However, to date the union has not received a response, she said.

“We ask the governor to schedule a meeting with the exclusive representatives of public employees as soon as possible to discuss their most pressing needs and establish a collaboration to help solve the problems,” Ayala said. “We trust that together we can work on alternatives that promote the well being of our members and the entire public service.”

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