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Puerto Rico members win big in new agreement

View of the Puerto Rico Capitol building from the north side. (Photo credit: Luis Lebron/Getty Images)
By Mark McCullough ·
Puerto Rico members win big in new agreement
Presidents of SPU locals gather to celebrate an agreement with the FOMB. (Photo credit: SPU-AFSCME)

An agreement between Servidores Públicos Unidos (SPUPR) (Council 95) and the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (FOMB) marks a milestone for workers throughout the island.

After years of protests, lawsuits and negotiations, the government entity created by federal law PROMESA to revise and approve the budget and obligations of the government of Puerto Rico has, as a result of SPUPR’s negotiations, finally given workers what they have worked hard to earn.

All workers represented by SPUPR/AFSCME will receive a benefits package that includes at least:

“We showed through our service to our communities that we were deserving of everything we had won in our contract, so it is exciting to see how standing strong year after year made this victory possible,” said Migdalia Cosme Morales, a clerical worker in the Social Services Department and a member of Local 3227 SPU-AFSCME. “Now we finally have some economic stability, some retirement security and the recognition for how we have never quit even in the toughest of times.”

The agreement also improves several other issues, such as finally allowing holidays that fall on a Saturday to be recognized the Friday before. And workers will have one day per month of leave that they can use to take children with disabilities or elderly relatives to medical appointments.

SPUPR is the only union that has a written agreement with the FOMB that was ratified by a majority of its members. The agreement does not limit or prevent members from securing additional benefits and pay through their contracts in the coming years.

“For SPU, achieving results like these, which are a step forward in our goal of justice for public servants, is a reflection of how a union manages to make a difference,” said Benjamín Borges, a trustee of and spokesperson for SPUPR.

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