Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro removed Marco Polo Cosenza as director of the National Budget Office (ONAPRE) and appointed Jennifer Quintero de Barrios in his place, according to the Official Gazette 42,439 dated Friday, August 12, 2022.
The Gazette also named Christiam Moisés Hernández Verdecanna as acting national treasurer
The National Budget Office is the governing body of the National Public Budget System, providing technical assistance in the different stages of the budget process to the bodies and entities governed by the Organic Law of Financial Administration of the Public Sector (LOAFSP), in order to generate the conditions that guarantee the management of public finances, within the framework of the Constitutional and legal principles that govern it.
It should be noted that during the last few weeks, public workers, particularly those of the national education system, had demanded the payment of vacation and recreational bonus for teachers, workers, and administrative personnel of the education sector, as established by the Organic Law of Labor and collective agreements, and rejected ONAPRE’s guidelines on wages that were affecting their labor rights.
Last Friday, August 12, the Venezuelan Government announced that this week it will cancel 100% of the vacation and recreational bonus for workers in elementary, middle, higher, and university education, according to comments made by the president of the National Union of the Unified Teachers’ Force (SINAFUM), Orlando Pérez, when leaving a joint meeting between the union and the representatives of the ministries for Education, University Education, and Labor.
In March of this year, President Maduro announced a significant salary adjustment, improving the quality of wages of most public servants, despite the deleterious effects of US and European sanctions on the Venezuelan economy. ONAPRE, as a technical office of the executive branch, instead of requesting more resources to comply with labor rights gained by the labor movement, or requesting more resources or an adjustment of the wage increase decision, opted for reducing the number of days or months used to calculate special bonuses, in order to connect the salary increase with available resources.
President Maduro’s administration, instead of amending the guidelines or looking for additional resources launched a media campaign to explain how the benefits of the salary increase for workers, and did not resolve ONAPRE’s guidelines issue. This response was used by many opposition parties, including the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), in a failed attempt to galvanize demonstrations.
By the end of July, when vacation bonuses were paid to education workers, teachers, and professors and the magnitude of the mess created by ONAPRE’s guidelines was felt by the workers themselves, protests began to take a different shape, becoming more numerous, and in some cases causing confrontations with law enforcement agents, such as in Barquisimeto, Lara state.
(Últimas Noticias) by Eligio Rojas with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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