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La Serena, Monday 11 of November of 2019.

Dear ULS Community:

The heartfelt demand of Chilean society for greater equity and social justice is, after 24 days of citizen mobilizations, an unavoidable call that as a University of La Serena we should and wish to attend.

During my rector's office, we have arranged labor stability, quality investments and balanced budget as institutional policy. In practice, this has meant, in the main, a prioritization of the item of remuneration and investment for the improvement of equipment and infrastructure for the teaching and research service.

This is how, close to a decade, the amount of the readjustment of remuneration has been carried out based on the readjustment of the public sector - which has not been a constant in all the universities of the State -, even in a complex financing scenario, leading to important adjustments for an adequate budget balance.

We have achieved this thanks to the valuable support of the Internal Triennial Commission of the Academic Council - composed of representatives of the associations of both academic and non-academic officials, together with the Federation of Students - who, in light of all the background on income and Probable discharges, propose an approximation of the institutional budget to the Academic Council, a fact that constitutes a unique modality of work in the university system.

The current scenario in our country invites us to strengthen the ways in which we can contribute to equity. Hence, with special emphasis in recent days, together with the management team and in my capacity as Rector, we have analyzed the salary structure of our university, requesting technical teams, background that would allow me to hold an opinion based on the possibility of making an extra institutional effort to contribute to equity and, in particular, to improve the salary conditions of those who are not at a minimum ethical salary level.

Having seen the background - and taking into account both the need to contribute to equity and social justice and the capacities derived from our financial and economic structure - is that I have resolved to enter into discussion before the collegiate bodies, the proposal for salary improvement for employees and civil servants who are under the line of $ 500.000.- gross monthly, establishing this new amount as the minimum and ethical remuneration at the University of La Serena, as of the 01 of January of 2020.

This proposal for improvement of remuneration is without prejudice to the bonds that the university has in particular established as a complement to the remuneration, and which are summarized as follows:

- For non-academic officers and officials, in the year 2019: In January, $ 104.970; in March, $ 69.986; in September, $ 69.986; and in December, $ 69.648 special bonus for gross income less than $ 1.500.000.

- For academics with more than 12 class hours and income less than $ 1.500.000, a special special bonus of $ 69.648.

- In the case of hourly academics with appointments to contract in the previous two semesters and who do not have a full-time appointment (JC): they receive, in January and February, a bonus per month equivalent to 100% of gross remuneration average monthly obtained in the previous year, in a semester of normal duration.

This measure of the minimum ethical salary will be proposed to the Academic Council at its next session, and then continue processing before the Board of Directors, if so determined. Although its eventual approval and implementation will impact the financial flows of the institution, it is a sign of equity that, I maintain, we cannot continue to postpone.

I hope that this proposal to improve income to those who are at the lowest levels of remuneration is a first measure of others that, eventually, as long as the resources allow, could be adopted in order to achieve a remuneration structure that articulates fairly the need to shorten wage gaps and maintain the financial health of the institution.

By the way, like you, I am convinced that in these matters there is still much to do; however, I must also be extremely responsible with institutional sustainability and financial balance, since, as is known, income depends mostly on undergraduate fees, gratuity and years of institutional and career accreditation.

Finally, as a university we call on our community to participate in all democratic instances and fulfill the associated duties, fostering a dialogue with all the actors, in order to chart a path towards a development centered on people and their well-being. In this sense, we call on the government and parliamentarians to listen to the proposals that seek to build a more just and equitable society.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Nibaldo Avilés Pizarro