Retirees Return to Work to Replace Young People Fleeing Cuba

“It is not mandatory to retire, people retire when they decide and, if they wish, after the established age,” says a Cuban official. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 14 April 2022 — The massive flight of Cubans is beginning to be reflected in the number of jobs to be filled in Cuba, to the point that the official press is already talking about the rehiring of retirees. “Currently many people request retirement with the plan to be rehired to increase their income and thus address the high cost of living today,” states the provincial newspaper of Sancti Spíritus, Escambray, in an article aimed at clarifying if it is possible to go back to work in a position that was abandoned.

The text explains that some retirees want to go back to work, although it does not offer data to support this, not only to supplement their income in a context in which pensions stretch less than ever due to runaway inflation, but also to “contribute their experiences and knowledge at a time “marked by the aging of the population and the lack of youthful strength.”

“The labor entity is not obliged to rehire the person who retires, this works as an agreement between the parties, and depends on whether they need it or not. It is a business decision. Not every place wants to rehire the same workers , but retirees can be employed in their own entities or in other places where they can manage the job and there they can also contribute their knowledge and experiences,” explains José Adriano Abreu, director of the National Institute of Social Security in Sancti Spíritus.

The official notes that in 2020 a rule was approved that allows companies to assess whether they need and want to rehire a retiree “because there are also young people waiting for those jobs that retirees leave.” The statement shocks the editor of the report himself, who writes: “But not accepting retirees back seems a bit contradictory in the face of the aging population that the territory is already experiencing.”

Abreu maintains that, in the case of Education, Sancti Spíritus withdrew the workers of retirement age because “it already had the available force of the new teachers who had just been trained”, a striking assertion since the ministry itself alerts , year after year, that there is a deficit of teachers.

In 2021, Minister Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella indicated that there was a shortage of teachers in 14 Cuban provinces. A year earlier, the hiring of more than 5,000 teachers, most of them retired, was announced to meet the needs of the Island. In 2018, 10,000 teaching positions were unfilled and a year before the number was 16,000.

Abreu, despite mentioning in Escambray that there are young people who need to work, reminds Cubans that “it is not compulsory to retire, people retire when they decide to and, if they wish, after the established age — 60 years for women and 65 in men — they can continue working for longer in their regular jobs.”

Last year, the Ministry of Labor estimated that there were 4,708,800 workers in Cuba, of which 3,105,400 are in the state sector and 1,603,400 in the non-state sector. The last population census, which is carried out in Cuba every ten years, was in 2012, and on occasion there were 11,167,325 inhabitants, compared to the 11,177,743 recorded in 2002.

In the coming months this data will be updated, which will highlight what everyone knows, the emptying of the Island, which, in addition to the human drama, is putting at risk an already damaged pension and healthcare system and, therefore, the entire economy.


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