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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

UPR Río Piedras campus returning to ‘normal’ after workers end strike

David Muñoz, president of the Workers’ Union of the University of Puerto Rico, confirmed that workers at the Río Piedras Campus would return to their jobs today.

By The Star Staff

David Muñoz, president of the Workers’ Union of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), announced late last week the end of the strike that began last Wednesday, after the UPR administration guaranteed compliance with all the demands derived from an agreement reached in February.

“Effective August 30, workers will receive a retroactive wage of $8.50 per hour, corresponding to the years 2021 to 2022,” Muñoz said in a written statement issued Friday.

He added that “on September 1, these employees will get a salary adjustment to $9.50 per hour, counting the retroactive from July 1 of this year.”

This provision will benefit one-third of the union’s enrollment, which is made up of 1,000 maintenance and physical plant employees.

Regarding the issue of a medical plan, the union will continue its legal battle, which is currently in the hands of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

Muñoz thanked the workers, the university community and the sectors that supported the demands for wage justice, and stressed the importance of having forced the administration to honor the agreement from February that led to the strike. He confirmed that the workers would return to their jobs at the UPR today.

UPR President Luis Ferrao Delgado said “I have always been willing to dialogue with the Workers’ Union and the unions that represent the employees of the primary educational center on the island.”

“In our budget request for FY [fiscal year] 2023, we requested the necessary funds to provide wage justice to UPR employees and I maintained constant communication with the fiscal oversight board to make this increase materialize. We managed to offer a salary review, which for more than 10 years was not done and we granted an increase to $9.50 to more than 1,400 employees of our institution,” Ferrao said. ‘And we continue to do them salary justice, after an analysis and review of some profits obtained through the student boarding project that ended on August 11, which allowed us to comply with the retroactive salary adjustment payment to $8.50, which includes from 2021 to 2022, and which amounts to $1.5 million. We fulfill our commitment to our employees.”

The UPR president added that “our institution will return to normal and face-to-face classes at the Río Piedras campus.”

“We hope that the dialogue will always continue to maintain a healthy work coexistence and that our students will never be affected so that they can enjoy the university environment of excellence offered by the University of Puerto Rico,” Ferrao said.

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