2 Feb 2009

Reduction in works hours for government workers proposed in CNMI

5:55 am on 2 February 2009

The Northern Marianas Governor, Benigno Fitial, is proposing a reduction in work hours for government employees beginning next month.

He's proposing to reduce hours from 80 to 64 per fortnight.

A draft proposal obtained by the Marianas Variety newspaper shows that the governor is considering shutting government offices on Fridays.

He's also proposing six no-pay holidays starting with President's Day on the 16th of February.

Unless required, departments or agencies will be closed on these legal holidays with no pay to the government employees.

The administration wanted these measures included in the 148 million US dollar budget bill but lawmakers instead passed a version that restricted the governor's hiring authority.

Governor Fitial's special assistant for administration, Esther Fleming, said the austerity measures are necessary to save jobs.

The Public School System, Northern Marianas College and Departments of Public Safety and Public Health are exempted from the reduction in work hours.