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Friday, April 18, 2014

Guam senators pass Responsible Wage Implementation Act

Guam senators passed Bill 268-32, introduced by Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, on Saturday which will implement the Hay Study pay increases for classified and unclassified employees while also eliminating the governor’s proposed pay increases for himself, the lieutenant governor, senators and all politically appointed directors and deputy directors.

“This bill prevents the governor’s original and more costly proposal from automatically becoming effective, and instead eliminates the pay to all elected officials, directors, and deputy directors, while providing a reduced salary adjustment for mayors and vice mayors. If the Legislature did not take action the governor’s more expensive proposal would have kicked in, and huge raises for elected officials and management would have cost the people of Guam up to $4 million more per year,” said San Nicolas.

“I hope the governor signs this bill so that we can spend less than what he proposed, and so that the money he proposed can instead be spent in priority service areas to our people. If he does not sign this bill, vetoes it, and allows his original plan to become law, he will be rejecting a more responsible spending approach, instead pushing raises for himself and his directors and $75,000 for mayors,” San Nicolas added.

A veto of Bill 268-32 would allow the governor’s original proposal to give senators a $25,000 salary increase to proceed. Bill 268-32 eliminates that salary increase.

“With this bill we say ‘no’ to all that, limit raises only to classified and unclassified employees, limit initial salary increases to the $7 million we appropriated in the budget passed in October, and require funding justification for expenses greater than $7 million. It’s a follow through to only spend what we budgeted for, and to prevent anyone from piggy backing their own raise on the backs of and at the expense of rank and file employees,” said San Nicolas.

“I am so proud of my Democrat senator colleagues’ position on this issue, who are brave enough and love our people enough to make this stand. I wish our Republican senator colleagues, who I know have to see the common sense in reducing the cost of this would have joined us at least this one time in saying ‘no’ to the governor, but everything in its own time I suppose. I hope that time is soon,” said San Nicolas. (PR)

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