Proposed GovGuam pay raise gets mixed reactions


Taking a look at reactions from both the Guam Legislature as well as the Department of Administration on the proposal to increase GovGuam employee’s salaries.

With Republican Lawmaker Chris Duenas saying that all though he is for the pay raise, Adelup needs to “look at the bigger picture.”

In response, DOA Director Edward Birn says that the pay adjustment under the General Pay plan is overdue.

In response to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s recent proposal to increase GovGuam employee wages by 22%, Republican Senator Chris Duenas says that the measure is both selfish and reckless.

With Duenas saying that although government employees pay adjustment should be taken into consideration, what will the 22% pay increase cost the people of Guam?

Adding on to his response, Duenas introduced two bills: 31 and 32-37.

Senator Chris Duenas (37th Legislature Photo)

Bill 31 is, “an act to end the Governor’s Cart before the Horse Approach to pay raises and restore the Legislature’s Power of the Purse.”

Essentially, the bill, if passed, would “reestablish the Legislature’s role in…tripartite government and no salary adjustment can be paid out unless included in the annual budget.”

Bill 32 is “an act to appropriate $30M to the Guam Department of

Education for school infrastructure repairs and maintenance.”

This legislation was brought forth as a response to the recent viral images depicting the state of Guam’s public schools.

In response, DOA Director Edward Birn affirms his statement, “a pay adjustment to those employees under the General Pay Plan is overdue.”

In a previous interview with PNC, Birn gave details on why the pay increase is justified.

DOA director Edward Birn (file photo)

“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,” said Birn.

The DOA Director, through a media release from the office of the Governor says that, “there can be no better condition to support the expenditure than now when revenues outperform budget forecasts and the $16 million estimated cost for FY2023 has already been realized in collections.”