(Hagåtña) – About 3,000 GovGuam employees could see a drop in pay if Speaker Benjamin F. Cruz’s bill passes. The bill would roll back all salary adjustments under the Competitive Wage Act (CWA).
Tammy Amuan, a budget analyst for the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, testified against Bill 244. Her current pay has allowed her to live a modest life while caring for her daughter and family.
“By the establishment of a living wage, my husband and I were able to purchase our very first home in 2014,” Amuan said. “This dream could not and would not have been possible at my wage before the CWA.”
The CWA not only gave government employees a well-deserved salary adjustment — the first in over three decades; it also ensured disparities in salaries were corrected. Amuan reminded senators that the CWA made GovGuam salaries competitive against pay in the mainland. If the CWA is rolled back, Abuan warned, Guam could see a massive loss of innovative and creative minds.
“Senators, there’s been a mass exodus out of Guam and it will continue to happen until there’s no more constituents for you left to depress,” Amuan said. “This body is already testing the theory.”
Speaker Cruz has said it’s better to have a pay cut than no pay at all – a decision he seems to believe is ok for GovGuam employees.