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Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 12am

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    Tuesday, November 21, 2017-12:25:44P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Senate passes legislative initiative to allow re-employment of retirees as classroom teachers and nurses

THE Senate has passed a legislative initiative that will authorize the re-employment of retirees as classroom teachers, doctors and nurses without losing their pension benefits.

S.L.I. 20-1 is a proposal to amend Article III, Section 20 (b) of the CNMI Constitution and was passed by all nine senators during a session last week.

Introduced by Sen. Justo Quitugua, the measure is now in the House of Representatives.

A legislative initiative must be passed by three-fourths of the members of each house present and voting. It may not be vetoed by the governor, but it must be approved by voters.

According to Quitugua, the commonwealth is experiencing difficulties hiring U.S. citizens or permanent residents to fill critical positions such as classroom teachers, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

The recent economic growth in the CNMI, he added, has led to a demand for a larger workforce but there are insufficient U.S. citizen and permanent citizen workers to fill all the needed positions including those of teachers, nurses and doctors.

Quitugua said Article III, Section 20 (b) of the CNMI Constitution authorizes the Legislature to exempt reemployment of retirees as classroom teachers, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals for a period not exceeding two years without losing their pension benefits.

He noted that Public Law 11-2 was enacted to authorize the reemployment of certain government retirees in Feb. 1998. The Public School System and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. are again experiencing difficulties hiring teachers, doctors and nurses, he added.

“It is imperative to authorize the reemployment of retired teachers, nurses and doctors to fill critical positions in government agencies,” the legislative initiative stated.

If approved by voters, it will allow the rehiring of retirees for an unlimited period of time.