Public workers to rally at Capitol, demand explanations of debt deal’s effects
By John McPhaul
The spokesman for the Committee of the Movement of Public Employees of the Government of Puerto Rico under Law 80, Esteban Escribano announced that today at noon on the south side of the Capitol his group will hold a demonstration to request that the government explain agreements reached by with the Financial Oversight and Management Board for the implementation of Law 80 that cover public employees under Law 447 and Law 1.
“The final report of the [Financial Oversight and Management] Board imposes a deadline until March 15 for the government to make its final evaluation, submit the amendments or otherwise. If that claim is not addressed, it would be necessary to wait 10 years to correct any error, with the aggravating circumstance that all kinds of benefits and pensions would be frozen,” Escribano said at a press conference. “I ask my colleagues in the public service to ‘wake up;’ if they do not participate in the demonstration tomorrow, if they do not raise their voices of demand or protest, the government will condemn us to destitution or labor slavery by not being able to retire. I have always said: the bus leaves us behind if we do not apply reason and if tomorrow we are not there we will lose the rights and the retirement that we have paid into for so many years.”
Elizabeth Santiago stated that “we make a call to Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, so that he addresses our demands and is able to reach agreements in a way that explains the scope of what was approved in the federal court.”
“We need to know the details of the agreements that cover public employees under Law 80,” she said. “We know that employees with more than 30 years of service, who have contributed to our retirement system and paid our social security, will be affected in future pensions, understanding that under the announced agreements there are no guarantees of a fair and dignified retirement.”
The committee said that nearly 40,000 employees under Law 80 will be impacted by the fiscal plan.