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Sept. 1 will be normal workday for Puerto Rico public workers, gov says

By on August 24, 2017

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló assured Thursday that Sept. 1 will be a normal workday, even though it is the day the government is required by the fiscal control board to implement a public worker furlough, which the panel approved during its ninth public meeting.

The governor insisted that his administration has already determined it will not cut the two days a month, but is still trying to prove to the board it will achieve the government savings established in the certified fiscal plan.

“The alternatives…we have already presented countless initiatives. Right? I don’t call them alternatives because, again, that would imply we must achieve a liquidity goal that had already been achieved. But we are certainly in disposition,” said the governor, whom in the past said his administration was considering “alternatives” to the furlough program, and now calls them “initiatives.”

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“Our team has been in continuous communication with the executive director of the fiscal oversight board [Natalie Jaresko], with the members of the advisory teams. We are still looking for initiatives to comply with the fiscal plan,” the governor added when asked by Caribbean Business.

Rosselló once again called for “dialogue” with the fiscal board to avoid implementing the cut, although in the past he said he would stand firm regardless of the “final consequences” to stop such a measure.

He had even stated that his government would defend itself in court if the members of the board take the case to a court.

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With only a week until the end of the month, thousands of public employees continue to anticipate what could happen with their workdays, as there is little information about the possibility of the board retracting its order.

While the board insists that the furlough program is part of the certified fiscal plan, the government maintains it is only a “recommendation” it will not carry out, but will inform the U.S. Government about its reasoning, pursuant to section 205 of the Promesa law.

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