CPA board OKs 72 hours effective March 1

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Posted on Feb 17 2020

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The Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors unanimously voted yes to the recommended 72-hour work schedule last Friday and it will officially take effect on March 1.

During a CPA emergency board meeting last Friday, all seven board members agreed to the recommendation to implement a 72-hour work schedule across-the-board. Board chair Kimberlyn-King-Hinds said this would take effect March 1.

“All seven board members voted yes, no one wants to cut hours but it’s just the reality of the situation,” she said.

Board members Ramon Tebuteb, Joseph Diaz, Roman Tudela, Pete Reyes, Thomas Villagomez, Barries Toves, and King-Hinds were present last Friday.

Aside from the eight-hour cut, the board also agreed to freeze all travel that is not reimbursable or required by federal regulations, a 25% cut on operations, freeze on all new hires, no promotions, and no merit increases.

“This is steep for a 24-hour operation here at the port. We also have to work to conserve utilities and gas consumption with the vehicles. Also, everyone is going to stay on their current salary for some time,” she said.

All austerity measures agreed upon by the board was made effective immediately, excluding the new work schedule.

King-Hinds said these austerity measures are subject to change depending on additional flight cancellations or suspensions, passenger loads, and more.

“So [our] austerity measures assume a certain condition that only these four airlines who have suspended will be suspended until the end of the fiscal year; however, should they come back online, we’re going to go back to the board and revisit the eight-hour cut. Our priority is to restore salaries for people,” she said.

The CPA airport and financial committees earlier reported an overall projected loss of $3.9 million, including revenue loss from flights and others. Specifically, revenue loss from the four China flights was at an estimated $2.2 million.

Earlier this month, four airlines that cater to the Chinese market—Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, and Hong Kong Express—suspended their flights for the remainder of the fiscal year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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