Re-hiring retirees should be last resort, says BOE member

BOARD of Education member Herman T. Guerrero says instead of re-hiring retired teachers, the government should ensure that jobs are available for local students who are graduating from college and are coming back to the CNMI to teach.

“Only as a last resort should you hire retirees,” he said. “It does not make sense when we spend millions of dollars a year on scholarships and then when the [new graduates] come back we don’t have jobs for them,” Guerrero said in an interview.

Herman T. Guerrero

The Senate recently passed a legislative initiative that will authorize the reemployment of government retirees as classroom teachers, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals without losing retirement benefits for an unlimited period of time. The legislative initiative must also be passed by at least three-fourths of the members of the House present and voting. It may not be vetoed by the governor, but it must be approved by voters.

“I’m afraid that it will be abused,” Guerrero said. “I think we should put a provision stating that scholars, when they come back, will be given preferential treatment before you can re-hire a retiree.”

He said they should hire new graduates as much as possible because they tend to stay with the Public School System longer.

“Those that we re-hire may not be with the system long because they always have a fall back — they’re already getting their pensions.”

Guerrero appealed to new college graduates to return to the CNMI and teach.

“The question is, ‘How do we entice them?’ ”

He noted that although the pay rates in the U.S. are higher, residents there also have to pay higher taxes, federal and state, and spend more on rent, among other things.

“Here, the tax rate is much lower, and you already have a home. You also don’t have to drive too far to get to work. So I hope the new graduates will consider these and other things before they decide where they want to work.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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