7 Jul 2010

CNMI lawmakers drafting new austerity measure amid pay threats

12:35 pm on 7 July 2010

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have begun drafting a new austerity bill to cut government work days to cut costs.

This comes after public servants had a payless payday on June the 18th and the threat of another one on July the 2nd.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the proposal will revive the twice-defeated proposal to shut down government offices once a fortnight.

"We experienced this a couple of years ago and we called it austerity Friday. So instead of cutting one hour a day, every day on government work hours, they will be cutting Fridays off every other Friday. The alternative is having uncertainty every payday. And most of the people here, most of the government civil servants have already said that they would rather have that paycut than have that uncertainty every payday."

Mark Rabago says the government is also tapping into independent agencies in hope of gaining funds to meet the next payday.