May 11, 2021

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March for a Decent Retirement gathers hundreds of protesters | government

Hundreds of people today joined various trade union organizations and central workers in the country, together with the Front in Defense of Pensions and the Let's Build Another Agreement campaign to celebrate today the March for a Worthy Retirement in defense of the pensions present and

The purpose was to request Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced "to fulfill its commitment to the more than 300,000 public sector workers and retirees, including the Law for a Worthy Retirement (House Bill 2434) and the Law for the UPR Retirement System (House Bill 2572) in the call for an extraordinary session of the legislature. "

" On June 18, the governor -in her Budget Message- promised to supporting Project 2434. Unfortunately, the legislature was unable to reach the consensus necessary to pass this measure. Therefore, today the union organizations are on the street demanding an extraordinary session so that this project can be approved, "said Emilio Nieves, president of the Puerto Rican Central of Workers.

He added that" this for pensioners is life or death and for the active worker it is their acquired right to a decent retirement. We are going to continue fighting to ensure that the commitment to pensioners and public servants is fulfilled, and the abuses of the Fiscal Control Board are stopped. ”

House Bill 2434 was unanimously approved by the Chamber and the Senate of Puerto Rico during the closing session. However, the president of the Senate, Thomas Rivera Schatz, and the representative Lourdes Ramos could not reach an agreement on the amendments introduced by the Senate, which did not allow the final approval of the project.

On the other hand, the Project of House 2572 had the votes, but it remained to be approved at the last moment by the Senate.

“We are aware that the President of the Senate raised particular concerns with House Bill 2434 and we have requested a meeting by letter to attend to them and be able to reach an agreement. In the past Rivera Schatz has spoken in favor of pensioners and public servants and now should not be the exception, "said Mercedes Martínez, president of the Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico.

He added that" we request that you receive as our spokespersons to the same people who held multiple meetings with the representative Ramos during the drafting stage of the measure and that together we can reach a consensus that results in the protection of pensions and active public servants, especially in this time of crisis we are going through. ”

The union organizations also expressed their support for the approval of House Bill 2572 that protects the UPR Retirement System. The UPR employees provide the country with an essential service that must be protected as the fundamental tool for the economic and social development of Puerto Rico, they argued.

“Therefore, to give stability to that retirement system is to guarantee the stability of the essential service that is public university education. We demand the approval of House Bill 2572, "said Ángel Rodríguez, president of the Association of University Professors (APPU).

The governor has expressed the possibility of calling an extraordinary session during July and, in this scenario, the groups who have called the march will be carrying out various actions to guarantee the inclusion of the project in the next session.

Among the coalition of organizations that support the measure and the march are the Puerto Rican Central of Workers (CPT), the Puerto Rican Union of Workers (SPT), General Union of Workers (UGT), Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico (FMPR), National Union of Educators and Education Workers (Unete), Unitary Coordinator of State Workers (CUTE).

Also the Independent Union of Employees of the Industrial Development Corporation (UIECI), Union of Workers of the Housing Bank (UTBV), Independent Union of Employees s of the Public Buildings Authority (Uieaep), Union of Employees of the State Insurance Fund Corporation (Uecfse), Authentic Independent Union (UIA), Association of Veterans of the Police of Puerto Rico, Federation of Associations of Management Employees (FAEG).

In addition to the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU), Brotherhood of Exempt Non-Teaching Employees (Heend), Puerto Rican Educators in Action (EPA), Central Federation of Workers (FCT), Association of Employees of the Highway Authority, Utier, Prosol Utier, Bar Associations and Social Work Professionals, Let's build another Agreement and the Front in Defense of Pensions.

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