Guam – Dozens of law enforcement and safety officers filled the legislature’s public hearing room Wednesday to raise objections to a proposal to postpone a 10% pay raise they were supposed to get in favor of a bill from the Governor to implement the recommendations of the Hay Study.
It was standing room only at the legislature as law enforcement and public safety personnel listened to their Chairman Senator Adolpho address their concerns involving their 3rd 10% pay increase provided by public law 29-105. This increase was expected to kick in on the next GovGuam pay period , scheduled to be on October 15th. But according to Palacios, for FY 2011, the government decided not to include the third 10% adjustment, in light of the governments decision instead to adopt the recommendation of the “Hay Study”.
Palacios says he received a new Hay Study bill this past Friday from the Executive Branch. It proposes that the Hay recommendations will benefit almost 6,000 line agencies employees which the Hay Study was conducted for. And most public safety and law enforcement personnel will still be covered , but it wont be to the extent of 10%
Department of Correction Antone Aguon says he is frustrated because he recently was apart of the 1.6 million dollar lawsuit that was filed by DOC employees because they were not paid for their over time hours. He says despite winning their case, there’s no money to pay them and now this issue comes up.
DOC Lt Aguon says based on what he is seeing , the officers will get less than the 40% that they were promised by law and on top of that our insurance is going up next week
Attorney Dan Somerfleck would like the current law that’s in place to be enforced.
He says, “Before we do the Hay Study Bill lets pay off our obligations to our public safety officers.”
Palacios reminds everyone that there still needs to be a public hearing for Hay Study Bill.
Palacios says, “Its not yet adopted, only the legislature can pass that. So we definitely can make amendments to it. So when the senators are here during the public hearing you have to tell them what you want.”
Guam Fire Department Officer Rueben Olivas says his concern is that the current administration doesn’t want to follow the current law.
Olivas, “I read the letter from Lou Perez that basically says, she wants to repeal the public safety law so we can implement the
Hay Study and I think that’s totally wrong.”
Aguon agrees, ” For the Director of DOA Lou Perez to say ignore the public law, that’s not right. Especially because we are all officers that go out there everyday and enforce the laws the legislature writes.
Olivas also has issues with GovGuam saying there’s no money. “All those people like the Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks, DOA Director Lou Perez and BMMR Director Bertha Duenas saying there’s no money out there and then they give themselves raises. We all take issue to that.”
Palacios says the main intent for this meeting was to provide the safety and law enforcement agencies the proper paper work so that they will be prepared when the public hearing comes. He says it’s up to plead their case and to make the senators follow the law that is currently in place.