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Protesting University Staff Pepper Sprayed

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Protesting university staff pepper sprayed


RIOT POLICE used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse University  of Panama administrative  staff who had waited over two hours  outside the Controleria on  Avenida  Balboa to confront  the Comptroler General about unpaid retirement bonuses.

When  Federico Humbert was a no-show the workers  took it as a snub and closed off Ave Balboa  at a point near the  Miramar  residence of President Juan Carlos Varela.

Damían Espino Castillo, Secretary of the University Workers  Union, said that they  been fighting for the payment of the retirement bonus  which “ For a year now the comptroller has refused to endorse.” This is a bonus that is paid to workers from different institutions, “Castillo said.

Castillo said it affected  300 workers who should have retired  from the system, but cannot do so because they are not paid their bonus, which prevents the generational change.

The bonus, depends on the years of service ranging from  10 months of their last salary, to  15 months for those who had served 30 years.

Castillo said  that the  retirement bonus for 75-year-old academics, that was jacked up by the retiring former  rector  was opposed by the Comptroller’s Office, but not the administrative bonus.

The Comptroller’s Office, said  that the case is in the Supreme Court of Justice, with rapporteur, Luis Ramón Fábrega, of the Third Chamber of Administrative and Labor Litigation

The current rector Eduardo Flores, did not answer media calls to his cell phone.




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