The work hours of 200 to 400 contractual employees in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas government will be cut by 12.5 percent from this week.
Lieutenant Governor Eloy Inos says civil servants are not affected as a legislative mandate is needed to reduce the work hours of civil service employees.
The Marianas Variety newspaper reports three bills were introduced one after another in the House of Representatives to impose a blanket pay reduction policy either through daily reduced work hours, the forced shutdown of public offices every Friday, unpaid legal holidays, or any combination of the last two.
All three bills, however, were killed either in the Senate or the House amid mounting opposition from the public sector -the main employer of CNMI voters.
The government currently pays about 280,000 US dollars per day for its employees.