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Last updateTue, 16 Oct 2018 12am

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    Monday, October 15, 2018-1:17:10P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Sen. Hofschneider favors military leave for government employee

SENATOR Jude U. Hofschneider is urging the Office of Personnel Management and the Civil Service Commission to amend their regulations to allow military leave for government employees.

Hofschneider, chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Relations and Independent Agencies,  wrote a letter to Felicitas P. Abraham of the Civil Service Commission and Isidro Seman, OPM director. He asked them to look into the current regulations regarding military leave for government employees and to amend them if possible so employees will be allowed to file for leave for mandatory military annual training.

Jude Hofschneider

Hofchneider said he received information that a newly hired government employee who requested military leave for his mandatory military annual training was denied because the employee was still in the probationary period of his employment.

The senator said he understands the policy behind ensuring that government employees are on permanent status before they are eligible for leave benefits.

“However, we must also be mindful that government employees who are also members of the United States military provide a great and honorable service to the CNMI and the people by serving to protect our lives and country,” Hofschneider said.

“The CNMI’s policy should also wholeheartedly support our government employees who are also members of the United States military, especially when they are deployed overseas to fight or for their mandatory annual military training. I understand that the personnel regulations provide for military leave for government employees but only when they are on permanent status. Because the CNMI employer or employee cannot dictate when an employee is deployed for military training, it is incumbent on the CNMI employer to authorize military leave for an employee whether or not the employee is on permanent, probationary or limited-term status. Government employees who are also military service members should not have to worry about how to pay their bills or feed their families while they are deployed for annual military training.”

The senator recommended that the regulations be amended to read:

“Military Leave. Military leaves of absence with pay, not to exceed fifteen working days in any calendar year, regardless of the number of training periods in the year, may be granted by the Personnel Officer to employees on permanent, probationary or limited-term status who are members of the United States National Guard and reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, when directed under orders issued by proper military authority. Administrative leave will not be granted in order to extend leave time for any additional training days.”

The senator said the proposed amendment to the personnel regulations will solidify the CNMI government’s support for its employees who are also military service  members.

He added that the CNMI must do its part in supporting the military, and his proposed amendment is one way in which the commonwealth can support military service members.