VIDEO: Guam Chief Justice Torres Says Only the Judicial Council, Not DOA, Can Adjust Salaries for Judiciary Employees

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Guam – Chief Justice Robert Torres says the Department of Administration has no authority to include Judicial branch positions in the revised Hay plan submitted by Governor Calvo last week.

In a letter to DOA Director Benita Manglona sent Thursday [see below],  Justice Torres expressed support for the Hay raises, but says by law, it’s the job of the Judicial Council,  not the Executive Branch, to set compensation levels.

He also tells Manglona  “the plan which you have submitted, which includes judiciary employees, does not recognize that the judiciary administers classification and compensation studies for the judicial branch.”

Judiciary Spokesman Josh Tenorio explains:

  

Tenorio: “It comes basically down to the separation of powers. One branch really can’t interfere with the internal affairs of another branch … But in addition to that,  our Guam statute vets the authority to govern paying compensation with the Judicial Council …. So the law also tells us to have a unified pay system and it provides a mandate for us and for the DOA to work with us from time to time to make sure that those things are consistent.”

So if not through the Department of  Administration, PNC asked Tenorio whether the Judicial Council plans to implement similar pay increases based on the Hay plan for its employees.

Tenorio: “Well we’ve always said that we want our employees to be treated equitably so we look and see what kind of policies that are going to be implemented by the executive branch so that we can ensure consistency …  and that’s what the judicial council did in 2010 … When the Executive branch implemented for a short period of time the Hay study. We also did the same thing in the Judiciary, we’ll take a look at all of those things.”

Justice Torres urged Manglona to notify the Legislature to delete the portions of the revsied Hay pay plan that include the Judiciary. The revised Hay pay plan is set to kick in by february 14,  unless the legislature takes action to change it.