Carla Y. Aviles Crespo

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May - 2012 - UNK

May – 2012 – UNK


 Puerto Rico is passing by the worst economic situation in a long time. This is the result of irresponsible governments that caused and aggravated the economic downturn. This economic downturn is now in the fourth year and about to become a depression, the first since the Great Depression of 1930. This is not a current problem, it is a problem that several governments administrations have been dragging along. This economic crisis has been reflected in this past year and in the last months we have suffered the consequences of lack of solutions.

All these layoffs have been supported by the famous “law 7”, which has caused so much controversy. This law has three phases to reduce the government payroll and save money.  The first phase gives a window to employees with 20 years or more of service; this window implies a reduction of the 10% that’s equal to a day of labor per fortnight. This phase also establishes a program of waiver incentives. The second phase starts with the transient or irregular employees and continues with the employees with fewer years of service. The third phase has two steps; the first one implies a freeze of any salary increase or economic benefits, from July 1, 2009 and two fiscal years. The second step is the suspension of promotion, transfer or movement of personnel for the same time.

According to the students and the media, this law affects UPR reducing the funds received from government. That’s why students protested the law in a General Assembly of students with a 48-hour strike. When this strike was almost finished, a rumor was circulated  about the privatization of the university and because of this, the strike was extended 24 hours more. To avoid problems and based on the non-confrontational policy, the president of the university decreed a one week academic break.

This strike affects every student and employee of the university because of the consequences of paralyzing it. The consequences could  be a longer semester thus spending our Christmas break at the university or worse , losing our entire semester. Whether or not the strike is the best path, it still is a personal decision that must weigh the consequences.  I’m not saying we have to be quiet, because I think no one has the right to silence us or take decisions from us. But we always have to remember,“where your rights end, everyone else’s begins.”

1 Comment

  1. Well, hindsight is 20/20, but it turns out our government didn’t collapse and we didn’t fall into a depression. However, we were – what? – four or five years removed from the brunt of the recession when this was first posted, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this memoir. That next semester was a hassle, just like you predicted, but most of this memoir just reflects the sensationalist theories being floated around in leaflets and flyers around campus at the time.

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