Rosselló Administration Seeks Major Overhaul of P.R's Labor and Economic Components
Four bills submitted by La Fortaleza last week seek a thorough overhaul of the labor and economic component of the government, while at the same time doing away with some of the past administration's attempts at containing the fiscal crisis.
Some of the proposals these measures seek to fulfill include stricterbudget controls for state agencies and corporations, reduced Christmas bonus and a lower rate of accumulation for sick leave and vacation days, the installation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló's proposed'government as only employer', and a transformationof the recently instituted Financial Advisory Authority and Fiscal Agency (AAFAF for its Spanish acronym).
Here are some of the proposals these four bills include:
P. de la C. 451 – To Attend the Fiscal, Economical, and Budget Crisis and Guarantee the Operation of the Government of Puerto Rico Act
Extends dispositions included in Act 66 (Fiscal Sustainability Act) related to unions.
Suspends economic arrangements included in union collective agreements and restricts further negotiations until 2021.
Freezes central government contributions to the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) andmunicipalities.
Orders government employees to use up accumulated sick leave in excess of 60 days before the 30 th of June beginning next year.
Commands the State Electoral Commission (CEE for its Spanish acronym), the Office of Government Ethics (OEG for its Spanish acronym), and the Board of the Special Independent Prosecutor (PFEI for its Spanish acronym) to operate using the same budget assigned for fiscal year 2016-2017, adjusted only for the percentage of growth or contraction of the global general budget.
The same disposition will apply to the Judicial and Legislative branch starting with the budget for fiscal year 2018-2019.
Requires any government contract over $10,000 to be authorized by the governor or his representative.
Grants the governor the power to remove any member ofaboard of directorsof all public instrumentalities if he understands they are not complying with the administration's public policy.
P. de la C. 452 -To Create the Financial Advisory Authority and Fiscal Agency
Authorizes AAFAF to serve as theliaison between the Fiscal Oversight Board and the Puerto Rico government.
Makes it the only governmentagency in charge of leading debt renegotiation and restructuring efforts and authorizes it to come up with an agreement with creditors on behalf of the government.
Ensures andsupervisescompliance of the Fiscal Plan and PROMESA within government agencies and public corporations.
Allows AAFAF to appoint a trustee for any government instrumentality to assure compliance with the Fiscal Plan and PROMESA. Also, allows the agency to assign personnel to secure the submittal of trimestral budget reports that agencies and public corporations must submit to AAFAF.
Permits reimbursementof travel expenses for AAFAF employees.
Revokes article 6 of the Moratorium Act as well as the local Financial Oversight Board and Economic Recovery Act, which was approved last year but never put into use.
P. de la C. 453 -Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act
Gives employers and employees the option to agree on a flexible work schedule that can allow them to start theirwork dayearlier or later as well as extend or shorten break time to fit the needs of both parties.
Increases therequiredamount for part time workers to accrue sick leave and vacation benefits to 130 monthly hours of work.
Reduces the rate of accumulation for vacation and sick leave benefits to new employees.
Reduces from 3% to 2% the rate for calculating Christmas bonuses for workers.
Abolishes Act 1 of 1989 (Known as Ley de Cierre in Spanish) eliminating restrictions on business closing times.
Women working part time are granted the right to nourishtheir infants for one hour.
P. de la C 454 -Administration and Transformation of Human Resources in the Government of Puerto Rico Act
Introduces'Government as Only Employer' as public policy. As such, all public employeesof allstate instrumentalities become employees of the central government.
Authorizes the creation of the Office of the Administration and Transformation of Human Resources and gives it the task of leading the efforts to implement said public policy.
Creates a unified system of classification and payment for all public servants.
Prioritizes internal recruitment for vacant positions within the government as well as for promotion opportunities.
Discourages agencies and public corporations from giving out temporary contracts.
Allows relocating government employees if the need for personnel arises in any government agency or corporation, as well as municipalities and other government entities. Relocations cannot be burdensomeforthe worker and must allow a probation period.