Speaker Benjamin F. Cruz has said it’s better to have a pay cut than no paycheck at all. Government of Guam employees didn’t agree.

Vince Aguon testified against Bill 244. Before working for the government, Aguon stated he would go from one homeless shelter to another. Since becoming a GovGuam employee, his situation improved. However, as a single custodial parent, he said he continues to live paycheck to paycheck. Aguon understands the negative impact the Speaker’s bill could have.

“It may crush the hopes and the beliefs of these GovGuam employees that have bills to pay,” Aguon said. “I’ve been there with the hard life. It’s expensive to live on.”

Don Lastimoza, a limited term employee for the Department of Labor, testified against the Speaker’s Bill.

“If this bill happens, I know I’ll be affected by it. I am currently under public and housing assistance. My goal is to get out of that and to become self-sustaining and a contributor to society,” Lastimoza said. “I step up because I know where I need to be and where I want to be.”

The bill states “the filling of approved classified positions with unclassified appointments in hereby prohibited.”

“I have put in so much effort and time, striving to be a classified employee in the Government of Guam. If this bill passes, there’s a big possibility that I may not,” Lastimoza said. “It is very hard for me in my situation to get this blessing again, because this is what it is to me, it’s a blessing to be where I’m at today. When much is given, much is expected.”

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