Forced resignations and firings of specialized and lifelong employees of the Mexican government

They are a key part of the functioning of the Federal Public Administration, however, the cutting of this type of personnel occurs under aggressive processes and without prior analysis of the performance of workers.

The public servants of confidence of the Federal Public Administration (APF), highly specialized and in whom vital tasks for the operation of the governmental entities fall, are the main target of the series of dismissals that the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador implemented from that started its management. 

In many cases, dismissal processes are carried out through intimidating practices, pressures to accept lower settlements to what corresponds to the worker and even requests for this “who resigns,” according to various testimonies collected by Forbes Mexico.

“The director of Human Resources told me that he was very sorry for my case but that they had to come to me because they were ‘asking for places’ and that they did not have the budget to liquidate me 100% and although he told me that he had the right not to sign and go to other instances I began to threaten that the loans that apply in the institution -to which workers are entitled-, we’re going to increase interest, “says a former employee of the National Fund for Workers’ Consumption (Infonacot) He asked to reserve his identity to avoid reprisals or consequences in his legal process. 

The former public servant reports that from December 30, 2018, to the date when she was asked to surrender her position, around 40 people were dismissed through various arguments and, in some cases, they were told that they would be dismissed. administrative acts with the objective that they sign their settlements for amounts smaller than those that correspond to them.

“The Fonacot is a decentralized public body with its own assets and budget self-sufficiency, that is, with the profits that are generated, it survives and the Chamber of Deputies just approves our budget but does not give us money, which I understand is that, as we depend on the Ministry of Labor and they had to make a report because they are removing places from there for that secretariat, “says the affected. 

Another common practice is to pressure public officials to renounce, especially those grouped in the Career Professional Service, mechanisms to guarantee “equal opportunities in access to public service based on merit,” according to article 2 of the Professional Career Service Law of the APF. 

“They are dismissals or terminations of the employment relationship based on criteria of the immediate superior, without taking into account the capacity of work, seniority or effectiveness of the public servant. There are liquidations below what the Law establishes or the labor category is reduced, so that shortly after the worker is liquidated, with a lower salary amount and there is also labor harassment, “says a worker of the Federal Court of Conciliation and Arbitration who also requested to preserve his identity. 

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Notimex

The specialist in labor law states that the workers of trust originally already lack job security by the very nature of their position, however, they are entitled to social security and being separated from their position must be subject to the indemnity payment and any of the benefits that legally would have accrued. 

“Article 123 of the Constitution in section B section XIV limits the rights of workers of confidence to the measures of protection to the salary and to enjoy the benefits of social security, but excludes them from the stability in employment (…) although that does not prevent these people from suing before the Federal Court of Conciliation and Arbitration even if it is a minimum payment of settlements that include their proportional parts of vacation, holiday bonus, and earned wages, “said Valente Quintana Pineda, teacher in labor relations and Professor of Labor Law

Faced with this situation, the dismissed employees have been resorting to labor demands or administrative amparos ” court orders”, however, these processes are usually tedious, uncertain and can generally last between two and three years. 

According to a statement published on May 30 of this year by the Ministry of Public Function (SFP), he noted that as part of a Republican Austerity exercise “only” has been “touched” on the base and operative personnel that represents 8.6% of the public servants. In that same document, the federal agency indicated that in July the final balance of the dismissals would be announced due to the “reorientation” of government spending. 

Crisis forecast

Since September 2018 a group of servers and former public servants, professionals and academics warned about the plans and measures at that time announced by López Obrador   through the document “Analysis of the Guidelines for Combating Corruption and the Application of a Policy on Republican Austerity in terms of cutting jobs, reducing salaries, canceling benefits and increasing working hours for trusted staff “. 

The analysis warns that trustworthy public servants fall into functions such as decision-making, preparation of programs, the application of the regulatory framework and governmental entities and the inspection, surveillance and oversight of the public entities to which they belong. 

These are employees specialized in the areas that work with a high degree of knowledge and experience, however, they have been the target of the personnel cut that is carried out in the APF and in that sense, it was predicted that it would go through a complex situation of crisis. 

“Under the assumption of a drastic cut such as the one we are dealing with, it is highly foreseeable that serious and complex operating problems are generated due to the lack of enough trustworthy personnel to carry out the acts of authority and to successfully deploy the public function; even being able to compromise with its lack, the total fulfillment of goals and objectives drawn for the public institutions “, warned the document since then. 

This coincides with the accounts of the public servants interviewed since they indicate that the unionized or basic personnel cannot carry out the functions that the workers of confidence since they do not have the knowledge or are even expressly prevented by the workers. unions that represent them. 

“This process has been taken lightly by eliminating a high percentage of jobs, and the necessary measures were not taken to keep the best qualified public servants. Given this scenario, the question will now be, where will these people be dismissed? If the IMSS has also announced a plummeting of formal employment, “warns Quintana Pineda.

But another consequence is also foreseen in view of the dismissals and the reduction of salaries: that highly specialized people decide not to join the public sector.

” What we are observing is that it is renouncing to capture probably the most specialized human capital and what could end up inhibiting is that other people do not enter public service work and that they even see the option of going to other places and at the end of the day this can end up generating loss of knowledge in the country, “said José Luis de la Cruz Gallegos, director of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth (IDIC).

In various public events, both Luisa Maria Alcalde, Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare, and Carlos Urzua, head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit about the dismissals inside the public dependencies, have been questioned in most of the In some cases, high-ranking officials have responded that everything is about a readjustment of public servants’ functions, cutting duplicated places and reducing the current expenditure of the federal government.

Source: forbes mx, el universal, politica

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