HAVANA – Cuba's education sector will close out the 2010-2011 academic
year with a reduction of about 15,000 jobs as part of the government's
policy to trim bloated state payrolls, the official Prensa Latina news
agency said Thursday.
Prensa Latina cited comments from Education Minister Ena Elsa Velasquez
about the progress being made in reducing personnel within the sector.
Some 8,000 non-teaching staff at primary and secondary schools have been
let go since the reduction began last month.
That figure represents about 54 percent of the total number of workers
who will have to leave the education sector.
In addition, about 3,667 employees were moved into other jobs and more
than 6,877 have been put on notice to expect layoffs.
The labor adjustments included within the framework of the economic
reforms pushed by the government of President Raul Castro promoted the
expansion of the private sector last October and include the elimination
of 500,000 heretofore state posts.
The relocation of workers into other sectors or "useful" posts, and
their possible hiring in the private sector or in new forms of activity
such as cooperatives, are part of the strategy of Cuban authorities to
deal with the situation of layoffs.
In February, Raul Castro said that that the measure to reduce state
payrolls would not be restricted by "inflexible time periods" and
acknowledged a delay in the process.
Sources at the Labor and Social Security Ministry said this week that
the general implementation of the process is still being analyzed and
worked out, but "it's going well."
Education is one of the main areas of activity of the Cuban Revolution
along with other social services like health care, a sector that in 2010
reduced the number of its technicians, nurses and aides by about 14