The Legislative Assembly has suspended sessions until the first week in February after a lawmaker tested positive for Covid-19.
In turn, unions have called off a protest that had been planned for Thursday afternoon in San José. The United States Embassy in Costa Rica had issued a security alert regarding the n0w-canceled demonstration:
The U.S. Embassy has received credible open-source information from local media outlets indicating a number of unions may conduct a protest in front of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 1:30pm. According to the information, the unions are protesting a public employment project currently being discussed by the Assembly.
Costa Rica’s public-employment reform project has been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from which the country is expected to receive a $1.75 billion loan.
The bill is aimed at creating a simplified salary scheme for public workers. Some of the main components of the project are as follows:
- The work of a public employee would receive equal remuneration in any state entity as long as it involves performing the same functions. It would replace the current system, in which salaries and hiring rules (among other aspects) are set by the individual institutions.
- The project also proposes to establish a single public employment regime, made up of eight groups of positions defined according to the specialty and nature of the service provided.
- Another vital aspect of the bill is that it would require greater transparency of public finances.