Support Puerto Rican Government Workers Demanding Fair Wages

Target: Pedro Pierluisi, Governor of Puerto Rico 

Goal: Support the government workers of Puerto Rico and demand permanently increased wages.

Protesters are once again out on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico demanding better pay and pensions. This latest demonstration comes on the heels of an island-wide teacher walk-out. The collective message worked. Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi promised a $1,000 a month pay increase for all teachers, as well as scheduled raises for firefighters and paramedics. Now, the rest of the territory’s public workers are taking heed of this movement, and rallying for fair wages in the midst of a more-expensive Puerto Rico. 

According to AP News, groceries in Puerto Rico are 18% higher than on the mainland U.S. Power and water bills are 60% higher, and the unemployment rate is almost double than that of the mainland. These financial burdens weigh heavily atop an impending debt restructuring plan (enacted by PROMESA’s federally appointed Financial Oversight and Management board) that would cost the island’s taxpayers $1.6 billion through 2026 (as stated by the Center for Popular Democracy). Yet, the latest salary promises aside, Puerto Rico’s government workers have not experienced an adjustment in earnings since 2008 and are perpetually struggling to make ends meet. Pensions are still being cut, and firefighters, to take one example among many, still only have a base salary of $1,500 a month. 

Furthermore, the scheduled teacher wage increases have already drawn criticism from economists who see it as an untenable way to address a permanent issue, as the monies would be coming from federal funds which will expire in the upcoming years.  

An administration’s main responsibility is to its constituents. Even amidst the island’s debt payments, Governor Pedro Pierluisi must address the needs of his populace and find a local, permanent source of funds from which to draw on for the necessary raise of his government workers. Demand livable wages for the workers of Puerto Rico.  

PETITION LETTER: 

Dear Governor Pierluisi, 

We stand with the government workers of Puerto Rico and demand that you provide them with an adequate raise proportional to the island’s up to date cost of living. We also request an investigation into alternative, local sources of funding for said increases, so that they may be reliable and out of reach from corrupt hands.

The current salaries are unlivable and likely to aggravate an already documented housing and economic crisis. Although a financial and colonial battle continues to be waged against the island by the federal government, daily life persists. You must take action to ensure the well-being of your represented and irreversibly increase public service wages. 

Sincerely, 

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rrodzmanz


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