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Argentine government discussing military pay and pensions with all forces

Monday, October 8th 2012 - 06:20 UTC
Full article 31 comments
Security minister Garré overwhelmed by events; Defence minister Puricelli anticipated events  Security minister Garré overwhelmed by events; Defence minister Puricelli anticipated events

The Argentine Coast and Border Guards conflict remains unchanged Sunday night with the government advancing with some disciplinary actions while the big event is scheduled for Monday/Tuesday when the Cristina Fernandez administration is supposed to come up with a ‘satisfactory’ reply to the salary and working conditions petitions.

Coast Guard and Border Guard officers said the government is trying to weaken their claims for a minimum salary of 7.000 Pesos, after on Saturday it suspended at least five non-commissioned Border Guard officers who took part in the protest.

One of the officers suspended was Raúl Maza, leader and spokesman for the protest set at the Border Guard’s Centinela building Headquarters, who attributed his sanction to a ”government’s strategy set to erode the wage claims.”

“They want to frighten us. But I will not let down my comrades, who appointed me as their spokesman” he said. Likewise, Maza alleged that the authorities “breached the agreement” as they had assured “there would be no retaliation for the demonstrations.”

The conflict erupted last week when following on a decree supposedly intended to re-organize the different items for which force members are paid, it ended up making drastic cuts from 30% to 70% in monthly pay checks with the immediate reaction.

But despite the skirmishes according to Buenos Aires media reports, there are ongoing intense talks at several levels to try and overcome the conflict. On the one hand the Economy ministry is looking for the funds to complete the 7.000 Pesos per month demanded by the protestors. But what is proving more difficult is to have the full sum contributing to the pension scheme, and not as currently that 30% of monthly income has deductions.

This point remains crucial since retired officers have joined the conflict and there are thousands of court rulings favouring them, (and non complied by the Security ministry), saying they have a right to a full pension linked to their monthly pay-check, independently of whether the government made the contributions to the fund, otherwise “the government was acting illegally and paying the servicemen in black”.

The drafting and implementation of the decree which triggered the situation has also had its repercussions inside the Security ministry. The minister Nidia Garré and her brother and ministerial cabinet chief Raul Garré have been signalled as partly responsible for the ill-drafting of the decree and ignoring its consequences.

As a result Sergio Berni, Security Secretary, is heading the negotiations and has promised a reply to the conflict petitioners before Tuesday. Apparently he had warned of the consequences that could erupt from the Decree 1307.

But contrary to the security forces, Defence minister Arturo Puricelli was quicker in reacting and faced with the decree, and the protests he forecasted, he rapidly established discussions with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the retired personnel to keep the situation under control.

Apparently Oscar Cuattromo, Strategy and Military Affairs Secretary, was tasked with the discussions and has held several meetings. Although the situation in the three branches of the forces is not that complicated, they also have pay problems and with pension contributions. There have been promises to find a “fair and levelling solution”.

The idea behind implementing deductions for pension’s funds only to certain items of the overall monthly income of the forces, according to the Buenos Aires press, has the purpose of effectively cutting military expenditure, but even more reducing pension costs. This apparently was a particular obsession for the Kirchner couple who saw this as an additional punishment to personnel involved or responsible during the military governments of the seventies and early eighties.

 

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • briton

    Bloody right an all,,
    They deserve all the pesos they can get.

    Still.
    As long as CFK keeps the dollars,
    She all right jack..

    Oct 08th, 2012 - 12:04 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    So the Argie 'government' have been with-holding the pension money fron the pension of the Guards and others, only to be caught out when they retire and their pensions are much lower than forecasted or anticipated.

    Gaining a judgement against the 'government' has resulted in the all too predictable 'get-stuffed' by TMBOA.

    This is something that even the Labour Party in Britain would not have done (other than incompetence in administering the scheme which happened with my wife and I resulting in us threatening legal action).

    These crooks who consider themselves beyond the law need to be put against a wall and shot.

    Oct 08th, 2012 - 01:11 pm 0
  • Captain Poppy

    HAppy to hear they are screwing ALL the military forces. Call me crazy, crazy me a reactionist...BUT!.....if I were a south american dictator, I wouldn't be fucking with the military's pay and pensions.

    Oct 08th, 2012 - 04:30 pm 0
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