Senator urges Civil Service to change military leave rules


A Tinian senator is urging the Commonwealth Civil Service Commission to change its regulations pertaining to leave of absences given to personnel in the military.

Sen. Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian), in a letter to CNMI Civil Service Commission chair Felicitas Abraham and Office of Personnel Management director Isidro Seman, urged the commission to adjust its regulations to authorize military leave for government employees who are on permanent, probationary, or term limit status.

Hofschneider noted he has caught wind of a newly hired employee who requested for military leave but got denied because he was still on his three-month probation.

“The CNMI’s policy should be to wholeheartedly support our government employees who are also members of the United States military, especially when they are deployed overseas to fight or for their mandatory annual military training,” Hofschneider wrote.

Only government employees who are permanently employed are given paid or unpaid leave as a benefit, unlike employees who are under probation.

Hofschneider added that since the employee or the employer could dictate when an employee is deployed for military training, the CNMI employer must authorize the military leave, regardless of the employee’s status with the employer—whether permanent, under probation, or on a contractual basis.

Through the same letter, Hofschneider suggests that regulations be amended, specifically NMI Administrative Code section 10-20.2-620(i), or the clause that provides military leave to permanent government employees exclusively, to also allow probationary government employees and term-limit status employees the same benefit.

“The…amendment to the personnel regulations will solidify the CNMI government’s support of our government employees who are also military services members. The CNMI must do its part in supporting our military and the requested amendment is a small token of how we can support our military service members,” said Hofschneider.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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