Tuesday, 01 September 2009
Backed by Finance Minister AndrÃ©s Velasco and Education Minister MÃ³nica JimÃ©nez, President Michelle Bachelet signed a new law Monday to provide retirement incentives for workers at public universities.
The new legislation looks to â€œrenewâ€ up to 22 percent of the academic staff and 12 percent of the administrative staff through a bonus equal to one monthâ€™s salary paid for every year of work, up to 11, upon voluntary retirement.
The president estimated that the bonuses, which will be affiliated with the countryâ€™s pension system, could benefit up to 3,000 people.
Retirees are required to have worked for the system for at least five years and must turn 65 sometime between the lawâ€™s passing and Dec. 31, 2011 for men. Women can take advantage of the offer anytime between ages 60 and 65.
The bonuses, which will be administered independently by each university campus and bankrolled by the government, intend to promote turnover and encourage young people to enter the employ of the government-run school system.
The new law is designed to â€œfoster the renewal of academic and non-academic areas of college campuses and update the academic, administrative and directive management,â€ Bachelet said Monday. It will allow greater â€œflexibilityâ€ to the school systemâ€™s pay structure, â€œallowing the universities to hire skilled workers and allowing them to compensate (these workers) in a permanent manner,â€ she said.
The bill also created an additional bonus for workers at state schools: US$15,000 for non-academic staff, and US$35,400 for professional, administrative, and academic workers.
It also allowed for bonuses to workers to cover the difference in cost-of-living in areas including the far-north areas of TarapacÃ¡ (Region I), Antofagasta (Region II), Arica and Parinacota (Region XV) and the far-south Magallanes (Region XII).
By Daniel Zarchy ( firstname.lastname@example.org)