Guam – Senator Ben Pangelinan is arguing that “there is absolutely no savings” from the GovGuam salary increases that were frozen when Governor Calvo took office and he maintains that GovGuam “can pay the increments and still save over $7 million dollars in personnel costs.”
The Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee cites BBMR’s projected personnel costs for FY12 “which was at about $112 million.” He points out that is $9 million dollars less than the budgeted amount, “which includes the cost of the increments.”
That “clearly shows that increments can be paid,” argues Pangelinan, “and lack of money is not a reason for the freeze.”
The Senator calls it “an absolute injustice to the employees of the government of Guam” and concludes by suggesting that BBMR inform “ the Governor that their financial figures highlight the availability of over $8 million of which the $700 thousand for salary increments be paid to the hardworking employees of the government.”
However Governor Calvo disagrees with Senator Pangelinan’s assessement.
READ Senator Pangelinan’s release in FULL below:
PANGELINAN CLARIFIES GOVGUAM PAY INCREMENTS STILL OWED TO ALL EMPLOYEES; URGES GOVERNOR TO PAY EMPLOYEES
FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (August 12, 2012– Hagåtña) – Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan, D-Barrigada, held a budget hearing last week to clarify the effects of the freeze of salary increments ordered by the Governor pursuant to his Executive Order No. 2011-14 on the government’s finances.
The hearing involved the finance and human resource management of the Executive Branch line agencies represented by the Bureau of Budget and Management Research (BBMR), as well as the Unified Judiciary of Guam and the Public Defender Service Corporation, the University of Guam, the Guam Community College, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, the Office of Public Accountability, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Guam Department of Education.
Pangelinan was concerned about the Governor’s freeze on increments, especially in light of the Attorney General opinion AG No. LEG 11-1218, which stated the salary increments, must still be paid to all government employees due a salary increment and remain a liability of the government, until it is paid.
“There is absolutely no savings when salary increments are frozen by the Governor per the Attorney General of Guam,” stated Pangelinan. “The BBMR submitted its projected personnel costs for FY12 which was at about $112 million. The budgeted amount is a little over $121 million, which includes the cost of the increments, clearly showing that increments can be paid and lack of money is not a reason for the freeze. We can pay the increments and still save over $7 million dollars in personnel costs,” stated Pangelinan.
Pangelinan refers to the BBMR’s projection of FY12 personnel costs submitted to the Committee on Appropriations, which is tracking about $8 million below what was actually budgeted for FY12. The FY12 budget act appropriated over $700 thousand for line agency salary increments and Pangelinan is appalled that there is a freeze when there is $8 million available.
“It is an absolute injustice to the employees of the government of Guam. If increments are not paid now when it is owed to our hardworking employees, it will only be added to the deficit and must still be paid later. When revenues are being collected as estimated and there is an extra $8 million to pay for increments, freezing them only hurts employees and their families for no good reason,” concludes the Senator.
The actual Executive Branch personnel costs for FY10 were about $110 million and for FY11 $112.6 million. The BBMR projected about $112.6 million for FY12 being spent; therefore showing no signs of actually cutting any personnel costs whatsoever in FY12.
“The figures the Executive Branch has provided just do not add up. I suggested to the BBMR that they inform the Governor that their financial figures highlight the availability of over $8 million of which the $700 thousand for salary increments be paid to the hardworking employees of the government,” stated the Senator from Barrigada.