NOTE: In the Governor’s Weekly Column, Governor Calvo asks senators to fund Hay Study raises for government employees. The money was available to pay for these raises in the budget Governor Calvo sent to the Legislature. That money was taken away in the new version of the budget, authored by Senator Pangelinan. Governor Calvo hopes a majority of senators will be in favor of once again funding these raises for our hardworking government employees.
Amend the Budget; Appropriate for the Hay Plan
By Eddie Baza Calvo
I’m urging senators to help me defend the funding needed to implement the long-awaited pay adjustments for GovGuam employees. Let’s just call it the Hay plan for short.
A couple months ago I made a public request for senators not to touch a certain funding source in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2014 budget. For years this funding source has been known as the two-percent reserve. Basically, two percent of total General Fund revenues are taken off the top and dedicated to paying the deficit.
We realized when we made the announcement that the deficit is gone, some would start eyeing the reserve. That’s why we informed senators of our intention to use the funding that would have been the reserve to make good on what has been an empty promise to GovGuam employees: the Hay plan. This plan will update the current pay plan, which has not been revised for over 20 years.
I looked over the budget from the legislative finance committee and I didn’t see any appropriation for the Hay plan. Worse, it seems this new version of the budget eats up all the revenues and leaves nothing for the Hay plan.
I’ve had the honor to serve alongside the men and women of the Executive Branch the past two and a half years. By and large the men and women of GovGuam work hard and struggle to get by. They work long hours under stressful conditions without the resources they need, all the while earning only a fraction of the value they put in. They have had to absorb additional responsibilities because the government’s finances did not allow for filling of vacated positions.
We have an opportunity to make this right in the upcoming fiscal year. There is real money to back up this promise in a responsible and sustainable way. They’ve been through too much and they’ve sacrificed long enough. We have stabilized our finances enough to provide for the Hay plan to be implemented.
I ask senators to stand up for our employees in this budget process. Please make a floor amendment to dedicate the revenues from what was once the two-percent reserve to the payment of the Hay plan. If this isn’t done, then the legislature will have shut the door on the pay raises for another fiscal year.