Public School System personnel are set to receive their salaries today after a three-day delay due a late transfer by the CNMI government.
According to a source, PSS received its fund transfer from the central government required to make a biweekly payroll only last Saturday.
PSS finance reportedly immediately drafted and authorized the bank transfer but, due to the time zone difference with financing lending institutions outside the CNMI and the late bank transaction, net payroll allotments will not be posted in bank accounts until today.
In other news, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, who reportedly had a heart attack last Friday evening, was released from the Commonwealth Health Center last Saturday afternoon.
In a statement, Ada said his vitals are back to normal but full recovery would take another two weeks.
“The power of prayer has allowed me to be discharged from the hospital. My vitals are back to normal and I’m good to go but recovery time is two weeks. Meanwhile, I have to see a cardiologist and figure out options. Again, thank you so much for your prayers and time. I pray for peace for PSS,” he said.
This setback has resulted in the injunction against the central government that three of two Board of Education members voted to be put on hold until Ada is well enough to read and authorize the lawsuit.
During a BOE special board meeting last week, PSS finance director Kimo Rosario said PSS is still operating at its previous budget level which he said is not a good idea.
PSS’ original budget for fiscal year 2020 was $37.7 million. Due to the economic downturn following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the central government implemented across-the-board budget cut, slashing PSS’ fiscal year 2020 budget to $27 million.
However, three of the five elected members of BOE rejected the PSS management’s austerity-measure proposal, and instead agreed to immediately file an injunction against the central government.
Rosario stated that without the austerity measure, PSS would incur a $4 million deficit by the end of the fiscal year.