Govt. Agency Hiring Personnel Despite Electoral Ban, NPP Leader Says
SAN JUAN–The former House Speaker for the New Progressive Party (NPP), José Aponte Hernández, said on Wednesday that the Puerto Rico Labor Department has begun the process of hiring new personnel in an alleged attempt to secure jobs for Popular Democratic Party (PDP) affiliates.
Aponte Hernández noted that such a move would further inflate government payroll during a time in which the island is going through a severe fiscal crisis. Moreover, any new hirings would be in violation of electoral ban laws, he added, especially with the Puerto Rico general elections being scheduled for next November, mere months from now.
“We have received information that the Labor Department Secretary [Vance Thomas] authorized a process to start new hirings,” said Aponte Hernández. “For example, a call was put out for a manager position with a salary that fluctuates between $2,607 and $3,510 a month. These managerial positions would cover the municipalities of Arecibo, Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, Coamo, Fajardo, Guayama, Humacao, San German and San Juan.”
Another employment call, which also kicked off last Monday and is slated to remain active until March 18, is looking for a “security and health” specialist with a maximum salary of $3,630 a month.
“Meanwhile, more than 30,000 taxpayers are still waiting for their tax return checks, and special education therapists are not being paid, like many other workers, all because of an alleged insufficiency of funds,” Aponte Hernández went on to say. “And despite these circumstances, the Labor Secretary still thinks it is a good decision to increase his agency’s payroll; there is no good reason for this.”