CNMI's government cut recalled, furloughed employees reinstated


CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres

Saipan-- CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres today recalled an earlier directive to cut the government workforce and authorized the reinstatement of all furloughed employees before the end of the month.


Torres his administration has managed to secure funding to allow the government to operate without laying off civil service employees.


The office of the CNMI governor, however, did not identify the source of new funding.


Issuing a new directive, the governor ordered all government agencies to coordinate with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or work with their respective personnel offices to end the reduction-in-force process and bring back all remaining furloughed employees.


The initial government workforce cut was mandated through the governor's directive issued Feb. 9, which cited "the continued depressed economic state" of the CNMI due to the Covid-19 pandemic and "the lack of budgetary funding."


Torres also noted at the time that there were no signs of economic revival happening in the next few months, thus the government was not expecting any revenue increase.

"Despite initiating the RIF process, it was always the intention of the administration to cancel the RIF and bring back all furloughed employees if funding became available," the governor said.


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"The Lt. Governor and I are proud to announce that through the tireless efforts of my administration, the CNMI has been able to secure funding to not only cancel the RIF and recall remaining furloughed employees, but to return all government employees to full 80-hour work weeks," Torres said.


All government agencies are further directed to coordinate with OPM, their own human resources administrations, and any other necessary government agencies so as to have all remaining furloughed employees returned to duty starting with the pay-period beginning March 28, 2021.


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The directive does not include autonomous agencies.


Government agencies are also instructed to begin the process of returning all employees of their respective agencies to full 80-hour work weeks by March 28.


"For clarification, autonomous agencies are positioned to utilize their respective authority to address issues relating to personnel within their agencies," the governor said.

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