Being a bureaucrat in AMLO’s presidency

Wage cuts, no computer use, no elevators, water reduction, no cell phone charging among others.

MEXICO CITY (EFE) – The Ministry of the Economy has established limited hours for the use of electricity and recommended using the stairs to avoid the use of elevators, reduce water consumption, or clean workspaces, following cuts in cleaning staff. Similarly, the President is asking bureaucrats to share computers because there will be no more shopping.

Added to all of the above are cuts in personnel and salaries in the Mexican public administration, recommendations such as not using the computer or not charging the cell phone in the offices. As part of AMLO’s austerity plan, salaries were lowered. There is no more purchase of official vehicles, and all expenses are limited to end “waste” and “corruption.”

Through a decree on April 23, AMLO cut 75 percent of the budget this year for general services, materials, and supplies, which has forced federal agencies to juggle to continue operating.

In July, austerity became more visible than ever. Agencies such as the Department of the Economy established limited hours for the use of electricity. They recommended using the stairs to avoid the elevators, reduce water consumption, or clean the workspaces as a result of the cut in cleaning personnel. Some agencies have asked staff members to give up part of their salary “voluntarily.”

Of particular concern was the cancellation of computer rental agreements with outside companies and the invitation to staff members to use their equipment. Lopez Obrador said there was corruption in the rental of this equipment, said the computers “are not the most important thing” and recalled that the country’s fathers never used computers.

“Imagine those who fought at other times for freedom, justice, democracy, and sovereignty. Were they waiting for them to have their computers to fight and transform,” AMLO justified.

Perhaps the López Obrador government doesn’t realize that it is putting information and data protection at risk with personal computers or don’t care.

“They take away computers. There is no water. There is no toilet paper. There is no soap… Employers must provide the necessary tools to the employees to carry out their functions,” says a worker who asks for anonymity.

Recruitment in the Mexican administration is a long-standing problem since, for decades, there has been an increase in fee-based and low-paying staff, who, unlike grassroots staff, have no employment benefits. Only now, by presidential decree, they are cannon fodder for layoffs. Widespread layoffs affect units where more than half of the workers were on a fee basis.

In areas where there were five people, now two people are doing the same job, and the most serious thing is that there has been clean-up without objective criteria, and people who know how to do things have been fired. That is the case with the National Banking and Securities Commission.

López Obrador, of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), excluded the Ministry of Health and priority infrastructure works from the cuts to its social support programs.

Although the snip is officially on operating expenses and not on program funding, austerity afflicts a host of areas of less interest to the President.

Amnesty International raised its voice against the National Institute of Women’s cutbacks in a country with ten daily femicides.

While the Oscar-winning Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu put a face to the malaise of the cultural world by opposing the suppression of the public film investment fund.

Complaints have even reached the Mexico City fire department, whose city council has copied the federal government’s austerity plan. This is due to the lack of protective equipment against the pandemic, which has made Mexico the third country in the world with the most deaths from COVID-19.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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