VIDEO: $20K Salary Hike Would Make Guam Lawmakers 2nd Highest Paid in the Nation, After California

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Guam – Among the salary adjustments recommended by the revised Hay pay plan now pending before the Legislature are a 31% increase for Guam Senators,  a 44% hike for the Governor and a 63% boost for the island’s Mayors.

The salary increases for elected, non-classified employees are wrapped up in the same package with the salary adjustments recommend for the thousands of classified GovGuam employees whose pay levels have not been adjusted since 1991.

READ the original,  May 2010 Hay Group report HERE 

READ revised Hay pay plan part 1 HERE

READ revised Hay pay plan part 2 HERE

The Senatorial salary increases, for example, would raise the pay of Guam’s 15 Senators to $85-thousand dollars, from $65-thousand now.  Senator Mike Limtiaco, who opposes the increase, has pointed out that such a boost would make Guam’s lawmakers the second highest paid state or territorial legislators in the country, after California’s lawmakers.

SEE the compensation rates for State Lawmakers on the NCSL website HERE

No Legislation is necessary for these pay hikes for elected officials to take effect.  Neither the Mayors, nor the Senators nor even the Governor need take a public stand for, or against, an increase in their pay.

“The Governor is only required to adopt a ‘plan'”, according to an opinion authored by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Orcutt in December 2010.

“The Legislature provided that implementation of the Hay Study would be effective ‘only upon formal adoption by I Maga’lahi of a Plan consistent with the Hay Group, Inc. and consistent with this act.'”

READ Assistant Guam Attorney General Orcutt’s Opinion HERE

And the “plan” did not originate with the Legislature, or the Mayors or the Governor, it originated with the Hay Group, and was subsequently modified by the Human Resources Division of the Guam Department of Administration [DOA].

Its DOA’s pay “plan”,  not the Legislature’s, nor the Mayors, nor the Governor’s.

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Salary Increases for Non-Classified Elected Officials in revised Hay Pay Plan:

* Senators: from $65,000 to $85,000                  –  31% increase

* Governor: from $90,000 to $130,000                –  44% increase

* Lt. Governor: from $85,000 to $110,000           – 29% increase

* Mayors: from $46,062 to $75,000                   – 63% increase

* Vice Mayors:  from $42,264 to $68,000           – 61% increase

* Entry-level Teacher:  from $24,656 to $34,383  – 39% increase

* Starting GPD police officer:  roughly $26,000 

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More modest salary increases for elected officials were recommended in the original report submitted by the Hay Group more than 3 years ago.

READ the November 2010 PNC report on the Hay Group adjusted salary recommendations HERE

In the waning days of his administration, then Governor Camacho signed an executive order adopting the Hay study recommendations and the Legislature appropriated the funds.

But Governor Calvo suspended the increases soon after he took office in 2011 citing a budget crisis.

Now the Hay recommended pay increases have been revived, with the heftier hikes for un-classifed elected officials.

The changes to the original Hay report were made by the Department of Administration’s Human Resources Division, led by Personnel Services Administrator Shane Ngata.

Governor Calvo submitted this revised Hay plan to the Legislature Wednesday, 3 days after announcing his campaign for re-election, saying he was fulling a promise he made 3 years ago to restore the pay hikes when GovGuam’s financial situation had improved.

The Governor’s Communications Director, Troy Torres says all the recommended pay increases will take effect, as permitted  by law,  on February 14th,  unless lawmakers act to change the recommended amounts.

A legislative Session has been called for Monday January 27th.

Two Senators have publicly denounced the recommended increases in Senatorial salaries.

Both Senators Mike Limtiaco and Tommy Morrison told PNC News that while they are strong supporters of the salary hikes for the classified employees,  they can not support the proposed $20-thousand dollar pay hike for Senators.

Morrison called it “unconscionable” and Limtiaco said the proposed pay increase is “alarming” and “astonishing”.

However DOA’s Personnel Services Administrator Shane Ngata stands by his Department’s analysis which he says supports the recommended salary increases.

The revised Hay pay plan was submitted a day before the OPA issued its analysis of the Department of Interior’s “Performeter” report which rates the financial health of  territorial governments.

GovGuam got a score of 2.81.  The highest score in eight years,  but still the lowest score among the eight insular areas analyzed.

READ the OPA’s Highlights of the Performeter report HERE

GovGuam received 10 unfavorable ratings out of the 12 ratios measured, and GovGuam received an unfavorable overall rating, “indicating the continued deterioration of its financial condition.” 

Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks told PNC News that the low score means that GovGuam “continues to spend more than what we have taken in”