Guam – Department of Corrections Director J.B. Palacios is asking for patience and understanding from his uniformed officers in the ongoing overtime dispute which has raised frustrations amongst DOC employees. Hwoever he says nothing can be done until the money has been found to pay what they’re owed.
Uniformed officers at the Department of Corrections have not been paid overtime for the past 16 pay periods. 189 of them are owed $1.5 million dollars in overtime.
DOC Director J.B. Palacios says that he is working with the legislature and the Governor’s Office and even Federal authorities to try and identify the funds needed to satisfy the frustrations of the front line officers at the islands prison.
Back in January DOC had $575-thousand dollars in its budget to pay overtime through July. But then $339-thousand had to be shaved off to keep current with the ongoing settlement payment to the Bureau of Prisons which had not been paid in ten years for housing Guam inmates stateside. And the remaining $236-thousand was doled out to island vendors for medical services like eye care, dental care and medications. The Marshal’s Service has also raised its fees for prisoner escorts and then there’s the issue of a $149-thousand dollar unpaid water bill still owed to GWA.
Earlier this year 10 DOC Officers filed suit seeking payment of the overtime they’re owed. They won. But Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Barrett Anderson did not order immediate payment. Instead, Palacios says, she ordered the overtime to be paid when the funds are avaiable with 10% interst, as required by law.
Palacios expressed hope that at least a partial payment of funds might be made before this month is out.