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QCOSTARICA – As part of a series of measures to eliminate “bonuses” for new employees and improve operational efficiency, the Board of Directors of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) approved a “global wage” for hiring new employees,.

With that decision, new employees of Grupo ICE companies (ICE,CNFL, RACSA) will not have bonuses such as “anualidades”, higher than average or “dedicated” salaries.

“The global wage is a fundamental decision to ensure the operation of our services, without harming the rights of existing workers,” said Carlos Manuel Obregon, CEO of ICE in a statement Monday.

The decision is a response to the directive of August 31 calling for “a drastic strategy to increase operational efficiency” that encourages the current administration to, among other things, save on resources.

ICE said that the measures taken are necessary for the financial sustainability of the institution and mandated under the Constitution.

According to the Roberto Chacón, Human Resources director at ICE, the effect will be felt within 3 to 5 years.

ICE and other public institutions such as the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) and the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo (RECOPE), have come under fire in the last couple of months for outrageous salaries paid to some employees.

Movimiento Liberatio party leader and legislator Otto Guevara has published a long list of public salaries, prompting a reaction by ICE (who took legal action to stop the publication), other institutions, the central government and unions.