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Nearly five million people will benefit from wage reform in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 31 (ACN) Nearly five million people will benefit directly from the wage reform in Cuba, informed Marta Elena Feitó Cabrera, Minister of Labor and Social Security.

The Minister explained that 3.1 million workers, 1,671,000 pensioners and 175,000 beneficiaries of Social Assistance will increase their income due to this reform.

She explained that many measures were previously applied to solve income shortages, which only consisted of temporary solutions and were reversing the wage pyramid.

According to the Minister, many opinions were generated from the population through the authorized channels - 55,532-, most of them positive and many related to the necessary motivation for work.

There is still a lack of knowledge among the workers about the salary they are going to earn, acknowledged Feitó Cabrera, and the managers are obliged to offer this information with all the arguments and elements.

With the regulation there is no increase in the groups on the salary scale, but rather a readjustment of the pyramid taking into account the responsibility, intensity of work, level of schooling, which seeks to stimulate studying and occupation of management positions.

In addition, it is intended to maintain the higher level of certain professions and to recognize the role of the qualified labor force in the economy.

She stated that people are not harmed because everyone receives an increase in their income, and even those who would now receive a lower salary than they did before for extra payments in CUC, those amounts are recognized - they are multiplied by 24 and added to their salary.

She pointed out that the pyramid was completely ordered and, for example, the mid-level technicians went from group four to eight, something similar happened with those holding a university degree who went up five groups in the scale.

In addition, she said, the master's and doctoral categories had a substantial increase.

Feitó Cabrera clarified that the reform as a principle eliminates the salary waiver but there is a group of workers who have occupied higher level positions for many years and do not have this category, and the legislation empowers the managers so that if they comply with knowledge requirements, they receive a waiver to occupy that position and receive the salary for suitability.

There is no reason to move these people out of their positions or pay them less, she said.

Regarding the dissatisfaction of health personnel with the payment of night shifts, she clarified that is paid - from 2013 onwards - and is treated differently from the rest of the sectors, recognizing the intensity of the work, but in this case, what was prioritized was the increase in the salary scale because it benefits everyone.

In addition, priority was given to the payment of academic degrees and specialties, and in the case of Public Health, the additional amount for teaching was increased by 5.5 times.

The Ministry of Public Health, the Minister added, has been instructed to carry out a study on this issue and when the conditions of the economy allow it to proceed to increase this amount.

In the Education sector, there is concern about seniority payments, about which she explained that this was not an oversight, but that they tried to link the salary more to what people do and to seek incentives in efficiency payments rather than seeking income associated with staying in one place.

In higher education, teachers are moving up through the ranks, which is being increased according to premises and requirements, and that is why the reform prioritizes increasing the salaries of teachers with higher ranks so that they have an incentive to prepare themselves better.

To the extent that the economy restores this payment, it will be analyzed and it has been proposed to the Ministry of Education to establish a mechanism to recognize the teaching status of its teachers and to establish a difference between a recent graduate and one with results.

She stressed that there was a change in policy, a high-performance payment was approved that is financed with savings from the salary fund to recognize the teachers who are most distinguished.

In the case of the local government bodies, she commented that there are inconsistencies, but that they will soon be improved.

Regarding community service workers, she warned that it is an activity that should be migrated to the business sector, but now it was authorized to maintain the current system of payment by results, but it should be adapted to concrete achievements and therefore the current concepts in the salary fund limit that they have approved should be revised.

In the business sector, she specified, the directive indicators for profit sharing were eliminated but the piece-rate payment systems were not.

She warned that individual regulations for profit distribution must be prepared, according to the performance of each worker, and must be discussed with employees before being approved by the Board of Directors.

In the case of persons receiving pensions, there is dissatisfaction with those who are widowed, which amounts to 1,070 pesos, below the basket of goods and services of reference.

In this respect, Feitó Cabrera said that the Social Security Law establishes the amounts based on the number of beneficiaries, which range from 70 percent of the total pension to one hundred percent, and for that reason it is chosen to put all widows, ex officio, in the pension that benefits them the most.

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