Puerto Rico governor awaits agency certifications on minimum wage increase
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Thursday that a minimum wage increase for the public sector “is on track,” but awaiting the certifications from agencies with the number of employees it would benefit and the fiscal impact it represents for the government.
The increase was due to come into force in July, the first month of the fiscal year, but it is unknown whether, in effect, public employees who earned $8.24 or less an hour will see their checks reflect $8.25 an hour, the new minimum wage after Executive Order 2017-026 was issued.
The governor clarified that the increase in minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25, which applied to construction employees of companies with government contracts, is prospective, so it would not affect projects that were already begun.
“In terms of the central government, the directive has already been implemented for all agencies [and is the] reason why reports are needed certifying that, in effect, all those who received $7.25 now have the salary increase. So the process is on track, but in fact the executive order was issued and the expectation of compliance by the agencies is there,” the governor replied to questions from Caribbean Business.
However, it is not known when specific details with respect to compliance will be available.
Regarding the government’s construction projects, private contractors had expressed concern that the executive order would apply to construction that had already begun, as it would represent a higher cost to the private sector. When clarifying that it is in a prospective manner, the impact will be reflected in the cost of the project for the government.
Caribbean Business en Español first reported about the lack of information on the implementation of the minimum wage increase, which was promised by the governor through Executive Order 2017-026.