Pay raise might come for GovGuam workers

DOA director Edward Birn (file photo)

Some Government employees might receive a pay raise soon. As Governor Lou Leon Guerrero introduces legislation that aims to increase GovGuam employee wages by appropriating $16M to the Department of Administration.

As a means to help retain current Government employees, Governor Leon Guerrero issued a bill that would increase some GovGuam employee’s wages.

“Over 22% pay increase for the General Pay Plan which covers most of the employees that haven’t already been covered. We started with the nurses and then we went to law enforcement and then we went to teachers. This covers most of the other employees in the Government of Guam,” says DOA Director Edward Birn.

In an interview with PNC, Birn says that the background behind the proposed pay increase is due to the Competitive Wage Act.

The Wage Act requires DOA to reevaluate government compensation every so often.

“Obviously in order to do that you need to have the finances….Over the last few years since the Governor has been in office we’ve managed the finances and managed to report a surplus. So the time came obviously to consider compensation for Government of Guam employees,” the DOA Director says.

According to both Birn and the Governor the last time an adjustment was made was 2014.

Birn also added that the 2014 adjustment used 2012 data.

“So basically compensation for government employees is 10 years old. An adjustment, an update, is obviously justified. We want to have in the government the best people, the best minds, the most industrious workers. That really isn’t possible if you constantly fall behind in your compensation plans, so at this time we are busy trying to make sure that we in fact have an incentive for the best people to work in the government.”

The DOA Director said that the approached they made was by looking at compensation in equivalent positions within the continental US.

Saying that the compensation is roughly equivalent to those in within the inner states.

Birn told PNC, “We don’t want to lose people. We do lose people. We lose people to the federal government. We lose people to a private industry. It’s expensive to recruit people and its expensive to train people. If somebody is in their career path and wants to move that’s fine – we’ll certainly accommodate. But we want to make sure that the government is given a fare chance at retaining them and benefit from their experience.”

If passed the increase will go to those who play other roles within government agencies.

Such as school aids in GDOE, or GMH hospital staff who aren’t nurses or Doctors.

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News Director for the Pacific News Center, Don was born and raised on the island of Saipan and moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team to broaden his writing, and to challenge himself to get in front of the camera. Don’s ultimate goal and passion is to have a well informed and politically engaged Marianas.