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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Teachers Association denounces chaos with the Teaching Career and requests a legislative investigation

President of Puerto Rico Teachers Association Víctor M. Bonilla Sánchez.

By The Star Staff

The lack of clear information from the Department of Education (DE) regarding the processing of requests for activation and reactivation of the Teaching Career, as well as incomplete and late communications about this program, have caused great anxiety and confusion among teachers in the public system. This was denounced by the president of the Puerto Rico Teachers Association (AMPR in Spanish), Víctor M. Bonilla Sánchez, who has officially demanded that the Legislature carry out a thorough investigation into the matter.

“We demand that the Legislature, in this case the education commissions, intervene in this situation. It’s a ministerial duty of the Legislative Assembly to supervise faithful compliance with the laws that approves, which is why we request that the non-compliance by the Department of Education with the payments and processes of the Teaching Career be investigated as established in the provisions of the Law. 9-2022, Law 158 and the Regulations of the Teaching Career,” said Bonilla Sánchez.

The general secretary of the AMPR – Local Union, Ángel Javier Pérez Hernández, highlighted that since the teachers filed their applications for a Teaching Career in April of last year and, even throughout that process, they have had to constantly intervene with the DE so that be more proactive with this issue that is a priority for thousands of teachers.

“Instead of moving forward, many of the Department’s actions have been in retreat, the most recent example of this being a memorandum on salary review published by the Department last week that, instead of being informative, has created multiple doubts among educators and the teachers can’t take it anymore,” Pérez Hernández added.

Pérez Hernández stated that “the Department cannot continue dragging its feet on this issue. We have been requesting for a long time that additional personnel be assigned to the Teaching Career office to evaluate files, so that payments can proceed as ordered and appropriate notifications be issued, among other alternatives. There were three employees in that office and they only assigned one more to evaluate nearly 8,000 cases, at that rate they never finish,” said Pérez Hernández, emphasizing that these requests have been to both former secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés and current secretary Yanira Raíces.

The union leader also stated that the department has not completed all evaluations of the records corresponding to the 2014, 2015 and later school years. “In addition, Education has not accurately provided teachers with information regarding the evaluation of their cases and established a shift system in which appointments are being scheduled for more than a year later. “This is unacceptable,” he expressed.

Another issue that Pérez Hernández denounced is that, although the Teaching Career Regulations establish that the increases related to the granting of levels will be made effective as of September 1 of the year for which the request was submitted, the DE has not issued the payments corresponding to 2023 effective on said date, nor has it given warning of the forum and term to which to resort in reviewing the determination, in case the teachers do not agree with it, as required by the Constitutional Right to Due Process of Law and Equal Protection of Laws.

Likewise, he said that “Education had informed us that it would begin disbursing payments for the pending cases of 2014-2015 in phases. According to what they alleged, the first phase would begin in December 2023. So far there is no evidence that this has occurred, nor are there lists to report on the “phases” of payment.”

The AMPR reported that it is in the process of collecting information on teachers who were denied activation or reactivation to the Teaching Career and were notified without including the specific reasons for their denial. This information will be the basis that the AMPR legal team will use to file complaints with the DE, as established in the Collective Agreement in article 15.04.

“We urgently call on the Legislative Assembly to investigate this matter and on Secretary Raíces to implement immediate solutions that, once and for all, resolve this situation for the benefit of our teachers,” concluded the union leader.

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1 Comment

William Rosa
William Rosa
Jan 21

The PPD/PNP government, one more time, passed laws/regulations to better the services provided to Puerto Rican students, the working conditions of Puerto Ricans teachers, and the effectiveness of the Puerto Rican educational system, to later and without explanations ignore them. The PPD/PNP had demonstrated time and time again that they are completely incapable of formulating any initiative that will enhance these top priorities of the Puerto Rican people. It's time that they move to the side and permit honest and responsible individuals to take charge and put back on the track these services for the benefit of the country's population.

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