CNMI Shutdown Day 5: 100 More Employees Back to Work in CNMI; 1,000 Still on Forced Leave

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Guam – Gov. Benigno Fitial Monday revised his executive order allowing about 100 additional CNMI Government employees to return to work following last Thursday’s partial shutdown order. But that stil leaves 1,00 employees on forced layoff as a result of the Commonwealth Senate’s failure to approve a balanced budget.

As of Monday, there’s no telling when the Legislature will be able to pass a budget that the governor will sign.

This means over 1,000 government employees will still be unable to report to work.

Press secretary Angel Demapan, in an interview, said the employees in these newly exempted positions will begin reporting to work today.

The others are designated as “on call.”

Demapan, at the same time, said there’s no telling yet as of yesterday whether the government will be able to release paychecks during the Oct. 8 payday.

This payroll covers two weeks prior to the shutdown.

“I’m hoping that at least we could have a paycheck on Friday, even though we have a shutdown,” one of the employees at the Legislature said yesterday.

Most of the newly exempted positions are those at the Department of Community Cultural Affairs, Department of Finance, Department of Public Health on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, Department of Public Works, and the Marianas Visitors Authority.

The others are from the Capital Improvements Project office, Commonwealth Election Commission, Criminal Justice Planning Agency, Department of Commerce, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Governor, Office of Homeland Security, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Public Auditor, Office of Personnel Management, and the Public Defender’s Office.