Press Release

Puerto Rico’s Educators Respond to Debt Deal

For Release: 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Contact:

Michael Powell
310-567-8643
mpowell@aft.org

San Juan—Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico President Elba Aponte Santos issued the following statement:

“It is an outrage and a bitter slap in the face to Puerto Rico that several Wall Street banks have struck a deal that will allow them to recover a disproportionately high value of the bonds they issued.  This deal disrespects the people of Puerto Rico. Many of the Wall Street banks will profit greatly from the deal, while Puerto Ricans are reeling in pain and despair as they try, against great adversity, to recover from several natural disasters. That these predatory hedge funds worked non-stop to line their pockets, while schools were destroyed and closed, and people were scavenging for shelter, food and water is nothing short of contemptable.  Their ruthless and immoral behavior will allow them to make a profit off of those who have suffered most and will undermine the island’s recovery. 

 “Let there be no doubt that AMPR will continue to fight for fairness and justice for Puerto Rico’s teachers.  They are the real heroes. They staffed the schools under the most difficult of circumstances.  They consoled frightened and traumatized children. They kept the schools running when most people would have given up.  Their contribution to the recovery of Puerto Rico has been immense and inspiring. And It takes your breath away to know that while they were pouring their heart and souls into keeping the schools open and helping their students that Wall Street banks were exploiting their efforts and lining their pockets with greed.”

“We will continue to fight for fairness for the students we serve, the communities we live in and the educators we represent: fair wages, retirement security and affordable health care, so that all our members have the economic dignity they so richly deserve.  Wall Street bankers will never deter us from seeking what is right and just for our members."

 

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.