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Horta ,  November 16, 2016

Vasco Cordeiro announces integration of hired workers into the Regional Administration

The President of the Government announced today the definitive integration of hired workers into the Regional Public Administration staff. This applies to all workers under the regional career scheme who have been hired under fixed-term contracts for a period over two years, uninterruptedly, and whose service meets the permanent needs of regional services and bodies.
"The same measure will be proposed for those who have provided services to the Regional Administration under an agreement contract or task system for a period over three years, uninterruptedly, as long that they fulfil its permanent needs," added Vasco Cordeiro.
The President of the Government spoke at the Legislative Assembly during the presentation of the proposed Programme for the XII Government of the Azores. He stressed that this measure is a clear sign of the priority status awarded to employment creation and the fight against job insecurity during this current legislative period.
"The economic recovery environment in our Region and the recovery of higher levels of private investment allow us to anticipate that, even with the fluctuations caused by seasonality, the Azorean economy will continue this path of employment creation in various sectors of activity," said Vasco Cordeiro.
At the start of parliamentary debate, the President of the Government also announced that, as for the fight against job insecurity, the Government will strengthen the inspection powers of the Regional Labour Inspection.
In his speech, Vasco Cordeiro also defended the need to develop a new, concrete, ambitious and determined approach in the area of health, namely with regard to the contribution of public policies in the prevention of public health problems, such as smoking, alcoholism or the dependence on psychoactive substances.
In this regard, the President of the Government stressed that the Azores have the most favourable tax scheme on tobacco consumption at national level and, simultaneously, the highest tobacco consumption rate in the country as well as the highest incidence and mortality rate for lung cancer.
"Even considering other relevant aspects for the definition of a more favourable tax scheme for tobacco consumption - such as the economic importance of the sector in terms of employment - we believe it is now time to award priority status to the resolution of the serious health problem we are currently facing," said the President of the Government.
"The XII Government of the Azores believes that this situation should be changed and will move forward, as soon as possible, with the necessary procedures towards a significant tax increase on tobacco price in the Azores," announced Vasco Cordeiro. The President of the Government recalled that, according to the World Health Organisation, the increase of taxes on tobacco price is the most powerful and effective tool for the prevention of tobacco consumption.
Vasco Cordeiro also reiterated the key role of the good and strict management of regional public finances over the last four years, stressing its importance to the future of the Region.
"This is not a mere budget issue, but rather a true pillar of our action. It is an essential condition that allows us, Azoreans, to have in our hands the power to decide on the measures and policies to be adopted in the areas of competence of our Autonomy, without interference or submission to external entities," said the President.
According to him, the available indicators in economics and the signs of society point to the consolidation of a more favourable environment regarding the confidence and behaviour of regional economy.
"This adds up to a series of other aspects that should be mentioned, such as the fact we are already implementing the current Community Support Framework at cruising speed and that the economy is already creating jobs. Moreover, we have resumed a stable relation with the National Government and we are living in a Region marked by political and social stability," said the President of the Government.
According to Vasco Cordeiro, it is in this context that the Regional Government presents a programme proposal to mobilise the Azores for the best response to new economic development challenges. The programme is based on the promotion of employability, fight against job insecurity, mitigation of poverty and social exclusion as well as on the stimulation of competitiveness, business innovation and development of natural resources.
"After a response to the economic and social emergency imposed on us during the previous legislative period, we want to move forward to a new level of economic policies with the creation of jobs and, above all, stable and better jobs. We want to continue this major effort that has been undertaken over the last years, which has led to a decrease in the unemployment rate in the Azores, from a maximum of 18 percent to the current 10.7 percent," said the government official.
In his speech, the President of the Government assured that the Government will focus its attention on the fight against poverty and social exclusion, through an intervention project that includes private entities; however, it requires the collaboration of all private entities working in this area.
"Because we believe that these phenomena are not - and cannot - be regarded as inevitability without response. We want to develop a true Regional Strategy to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion, which will pay special attention to the cases of children and youth at risk," announced Vasco Cordeiro.
With regard to education, the President of the Government stressed the purpose of moving forward in the path to improve the school success indicators with the PROSUCESSO programme. They still fail to meet our expectations and, therefore, require hard work so that they may improve to acceptable levels.
As for the teaching staff, the Government "is already working in accordance to an already established methodology." In this context, the President of the Government reminded the need to analyse the results of recent special and regular teaching applications as well as "the stipulated goals, namely the establishment of rules on annual teaching applications and the eventual amendment to the requirement to teach at the same school for three years."
"Therefore, I am pleased to announce that we have already sent invitation to teachers' unions for the formal opening of a process intended to revise these aspects, so that the Government may submit to the Legislative Assembly a draft proposal that fulfils this commitment," said the President of the Government. 
Before the members of the Parliament, Vasco Cordeiro assured that the Government is available and interested in a culture of dialogue and consensus, starting with political parties represented at the Parliament but also with the entities representing the Azorean society.
"This is our willingness for dialogue and consensus-building in key areas for the Region's interests. It is not a circumstantial attention, but rather a commitment embodied in the Government Programme that is indispensable to the accomplishment of the fundamental goals of a developed, modern and progressive society," noted the President of the Government.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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