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Classroom ‘aviators’ include some mayors

Financial chief going after 1,500 believed to be on payroll without teaching

Forty-eight Oaxaca mayors and other municipal officers, along with 10 state government employees, have been sanctioned so far for collecting a teacher’s salary without teaching.

The sanctions are part of the restructuring of the state’s education institute, IEEPO, an ongoing process, and Oaxaca’s chief financial officer has his sights set on the CNTE teachers’ union local Section 22 and 1,500 of its members, identified as commissioners, who are suspected of being paid as teachers without ever stepping into a classroom. Such workers are also known as “aviators,” who only touch down for their paychecks.

Manuel de Jesús López said about 419 employees have been found to be fraudulently holding a teaching position following a preliminary audit by the state comptroller’s office, which found that some of the public officials were employed at the education institute and others within the state government.

López has suspended the payment of their salaries and summoned the workers to a hearing where they must present proof that they are complying with the schedules of both jobs.

Workers who cannot provide such proof will be terminated immediately and will have to reimburse unearned salaries to state coffers.

To date, these sanctions have been enforced against the 58 municipal officers and state officials.

“This auditing is an ongoing process. We’re still reviewing employment irregularities of those with ‘ghost’ jobs at IEEPO or as teachers,” said López.

“We’re not going to falter when going after the so-called commissioners; their situation will be thoroughly assessed . . . .”

According to the constitution, any public official may hold two jobs but if one of them is teaching the schedules must never overlap.

Source: Milenio (sp), Noticias de Oaxaca (sp)

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