The Government of Puerto Rico’s new modern salary structure, which was developed together with the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico as part of the ongoing Civil Service Reform, has brought competitive, market-based salaries to thousands of central government employees.
A select list of jobs received a different compensation treatment. Those “hot jobs” are critical, in-demand service jobs for which hiring and retention is more difficult. Given this special status, the base salaries of “hot jobs” were brought to the midpoint of their respective salary grades rather than the new minimums.
The government chose direct service positions in health and social services that are not administrative in generally low salary grades to be considered hot jobs, such as nurses, social workers, emergency medical technicians, and juvenile services officials. These hot jobs provide critical direct services to the people of Puerto Rico.
As Civil Service Reform continues, more formal criteria for determining hot jobs will be developed as part of the salary administration guidelines. As is commonly done to determine which jobs should be considered “hot,” data on recruitment and attrition rates will govern criteria for hot jobs. The list of hot jobs is not static and will be updated as necessary.
The new modern salary structure provides a closer alignment to local market data, allows the government to pay at market competitive rates, enables government to provide merit increases based on periodic evaluations of an employee’s skill proficiency and/or performance rather than tenure, and provides greater flexibility in pay setting processes.
Of the more than 22,000 employees in 56 agencies impacted by the new Uniform Classification and Remuneration Plan, nearly 12,000 employees or 53% received salary adjustments. Of these 12,000 employees receiving salary adjustments, 20% have “hot jobs” and were brought to the midpoint of their salary scales.
The budget allocated for the implementation of this new salary structure is $99.6 million.
Beyond adjusting salaries for central government workers, other important components of Civil Service Reform include a new employee evaluation process that focuses on professional development; a new, streamlined recruitment system to ensure the right talent with the needed skills and competencies is recruited; and updating and modernizing organizational structures across central government agencies.
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