Friday, October 22, 2021

Gov. Pierluisi Creates Minimum Wage Advisory Group

By on May 19, 2021

To evaluate the minimum salary wage and with the interest of promoting a possible increase, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi on Wednesday announced the creation of the Governor’s Minimum Wage Advisory Group, which will be chaired by La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Noelia García and will integrate members of the public and private sector.

“Salary wage inequality is one of the main reasons Puerto Rico residents seek a better quality of life in the United States,” Pierluisi said. “Puerto Rico has first-rate professionals and people who want to move forward here. My government will continue to work actively to improve the quality of life of our citizens, and that includes assessing the minimum wage and enabling fairer wages because we need a robust workforce for Puerto Rico’s recovery,” Pierluisi said, moments after signing executive order (OE) 2021-035.

The governor added that it had been 12 years since 2009 when it was determined that the minimum wage in Puerto Rico would be $7.25 an hour. 

“Since then, living costs have increased, and it is time for our workers to have a fair wage and according to the cost of life today,” the governor added.

The advisory group will consist of three representatives of trade union organizations and La Fortaleza director of the Office of Public and Programmatic Affairs, Rosemarie Vizcarrondo, among others. In addition, the heads of the Labor Department, Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym), the Office of Human Resources Administration and Transformation (OATRH by its Spanish acronym), the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will also form part of the advisory committee.

Representatives of the College of Authorized Public Accountants, the Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturing Association, the United Retailers Association, the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution (MIDA) will also be part of the group.

In addition, the Puerto Rico Retailers Association (ACDET by its Spanish initials), the Puerto Rico Restaurant Association (Asore by its Spanish acronym), and the General Contractors Association will be part of the group, and three more people to be designated by the governor.

The Minimum Wage Advisory Group will have a maximum of 90 days to provide the governor with a report containing recommendations on legislation or measures to be implemented to improve the wages of the island’s workforce. They may include proposals for amendments or statutes that facilitate its implementation. As part of his constitutional powers, the governor may request additional reports.

According to the executive order, the most recent census highlights that Puerto Rico had a reduction of 439,915 residents over the past decade. In addition, labor participation on the island lags behind states at around 40 percent.

The minimum wage in Puerto Rico is established in accordance with the provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the 1998 Puerto Rico Minimum Wage, Vacation, and Sick Leave Act.

To read the executive order, visit: https://www.estado.pr.gov/en/executive-orders/  

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