July 28, 2021

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Demonstration demands approval of two projects to save pensions

Hundreds of pensioners and public employees took the streets of Old San Juan today to claim the governor Wanda Vázquez and the Legislature that they comply with passing two bills that would guarantee compliance with paying the pensions in the future.

The March for a Worthy Retirement brought together protesters from a large group of unions representing public sector workers, who gathered in Plaza Colón and from there they marched to La Fortaleza, with a unanimous call for House Bill 2434 and House Bill 2572 to become law.

As explained Emilio Nieves Torres, President of the Puerto Rican Central of Workers, which groups union organizations of agencies and public corporations, the protest of the group of protesters is so that “the governor, in the extraordinary session next to summon incl It uses two projects that protect the pension of 179,000 retirees and the future pension of 130,000 public service workers. ”

According to the union leader, Vázquez already endorsed PC 2434 in his message of June 18,“ and the The House of Representatives has already approved the two projects, unanimously. "

" What is missing here is the qualms that the Senate of Puerto Rico may have. And since there was no agreement in those projects at the end of the legislative session, what corresponds today is that active workers and retirees demand that the governor include these projects in the extraordinary session, and that the Senate give us the opportunity to clarify any interpretation that they may have regarding these projects, and that they may be approved, to guarantee what they have established as public policy: zero cut to pensions, "claimed Nieves.

He explained that the projects address the pensions for teachers, the judiciary and the central government, including public corporations, public agencies, and municipal employees.

“The call to the governor and the president of the Senate (Thomas Rivera Schatz): give way to the projects with which you have committed, because they have said that they are not going to allow in an adjustment plan that the Fiscal Control Board imposes any cut to the pens ions. These are the two projects that guarantee that there will be no cut in pensions, and that will guarantee, in perpetuity, the stability of the pension payment of the 170,000 retirees and 130,000 public employees, "insisted the union leader.

Projects cover the present and future pensions of all central government employees, the judiciary, teachers, and employees of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), including retirees and current employees. The only public employees that are not included in the projects are those of the Electric Power Authority, which have their own retirement plan, "which is now in danger also because of the contract with (the private consortium) LUMA."

Nieves explained that the project creates a trust that is administered by the participants of the retirement system, includes financing giving priority to pensions over debt payment, and all in the context of the federal law known as Promesa.

Governor Vázquez has indicated that she would call an extraordinary session of the Legislature, although it has not been specified whether these projects would be included among those that would be discussed.

According to Nieves, at the moment the only obstacle to approval is an objection raised by the Senate on an element of law that has not been detailed, but does not believe that the objection supposes the end of the measures.

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