Guam – The question of what is the “non-productive pay” that Guam Firemen receive has cropped up again as a result of a recommendation to eliminate it the recently released Budget Cuts Task Force report.
The Task Force recommendation is based on a report from the Office of Public Accountability released in August of last year.
Non-Productive Pay — Key Points from the Audit:
What is non-productive pay?:
* Firefighters work five 24-hour shifts, or 120 hours, over a two-week pay period.
* While 80 hours is the standard before overtime accrues for most government employees, the standard for firefighters is 106 hours.
* As a result, GFD uniformed personnel automatically get the 14-hour difference between 120 and 106 as overtime every pay period.
* Also by law, firefighters cannot be charged more than 45 hours of leave per pay period. Thus, while on leave for two weeks, GFD uniformed personnel are assessed only 45 leave hours and still get paid for 106 hours out of the General Fund.
* The Department of Administration (DOA) categorizes the 61-hour difference as non-productive pay on leave and the Attorney General (AG) refers to it as “bonus” compensation.
The Cost of Non-Productive Pay:
* By law, Guam Fire Department (GFD) uniformed personnel receive pay and leave benefits surpassing those of all other Government of Guam (GovGuam) employees and which appear inequitable.
* Non-productive pay on leave cost GovGuam $6.3 million (M) over the last four fiscal years, an average of $1.6M annually, and the top 10 recipients received amounts ranging from $63,000 (K) to $125K
• In 2010, six firefighters received compensation of between $102K and $114K.
* Additionally, 46 firefighters earned over $90K, 57 earned over $80K and 97 earned over $70K. Three Fire Battalion Chiefs earned an average of $111K, 43 Fire Captains averaged $92K, 76 Fire Service Specialists averaged $82K, 76 Firefighter II’s averaged $76K, and 64 Firefighter I’s averaged $65K.
Audit of GFD non-productive pay from fiscal years 2007 to 2010 revealed that:
* 258 firefighters on leave were paid 62 to 80 non-productive hours beyond the number allowed by law, resulting in questioned costs of $347K for 19,523 hours due to lack of payroll procedures, management review and oversight, and effective information technology controls
* In 2010, 263 firefighters were collectively paid $20.6M, 71% more than their total base salaries of $12.1M. Each received an average of $78K. In 2009, 266 firefighters made $19.2M, 74% more than their base salaries of $11.1M, an average of $73K each.