VIDEO: Judiciary Says $440K Appropriated in Hay Bill for Judicial Employees May Not Be Enough

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Guam – The passage of the Hay Pay Plan bill also authorizes over $440,000 to the Judiciary of Guam so that its judicial council can also implement salary increases for its employees.

 Judiciary Spokesman Josh Tenorio tells PNC that only the judicial council has the authority to determine wages for judicial employees.

They were initially included in the hay pay plan announced last month, but Chief Justice Robert Torres recommended that the governor advise the legislature to omit them from the hay plan.

While Senator Michael San Nicolas heeded that request in his introduction of bill 268, the good news is he did appropriate over $440,000 for judiciary employees. However, Tenorio says it may not be enough.

“I think that we’ll follow the law and we’ve been making sure that there’s bene parity for the judiciary employees along with the executive branch employees,” says Tenorio. “I’ll just have to say that based on the methodology that has been talked about, the amount of money that has been appropriated is probably not gonna be sufficient, we’ll have to take a look at the calculations.”

 Meanwhile, Judiciary judges and justices will not be receiving any raises, according to Tenorio. Judicial officer pay raises are only authorized by statute. So, along with other management level positions in the executive branch, Tenorio says judges were excluded from the hay pay plan.

“The recommendation from the hay group was to increase judges’ salaries from $121,000 to $128,000 [annually]. It would be the same as the recommendations for the Attorney General’s salary. But we understand that the legislature in the bill that was passed has not included them and so their salaries would remain the same,” he states.

He adds: “There has been some talk that the judicial council has the unilateral authority to raise those salaries but that is not the case. The only way that a judge’s salary can be increased is through a statute and so that’s not happened.”