Governor Calvo wanted to share some great news with GovGuam employees and those waiting for a refund. So, he recorded this special address for anyone interested in pay adjustments for law enforcement officers and GovGuam employees under the General Pay Plan.
Click here to listen to the address (it will open on YouTube as a movie file).
The text of the address follows:
Special address on Hay, LEO, and refunds
By Eddie Baza Calvo
In the coming days I’ll be working with Senators to introduce two bills. The first will authorize me to pay the balance of pay adjustments owed to law enforcement officers. This is the pay they earned but were not paid for years. Last year we began to make that empty promise whole. We paid half of their retroactive salary increases. I promised we’d pay the other half this year.
The second bill is something I didn’t promise, but only seems right. In February we implemented the Hay salary increases across the board with one exception: we could only fund the General Pay Plan at 50 percent. This is the largest group of employees, ranging from clerks to managers. I promised that we’d start paying these salaries at full level this year. We budgeted for that to start on October 1. Ever since February, many of you have come up to me or called or sent me Facebook messages. You asked that, if we could, we make the employees of the General Pay Plan whole as well. It’s only right that this happens. You waited patiently while everyone else got their increase at the full level. Therefore, the second bill will authorize me to pay your Hay salary at 100 percent. This will cover the period starting when the Hay plan went into effect in February to September 30 this year. It will be a retroactive payment.
If the Legislature approves my bills, then only one longstanding payroll obligation will remain from the promises of the past: the law enforcement adjustment pay for payroll expenses like overtime, night differential, and such. We’ll get to that as funds become available. By and large, the liabilities will be gone. There will be issues to resolve at DOE and GMH, but we’ll work with them to resolve those. The point is that all the line and semi-autonomous agencies can start with a clean slate of a workforce better paid and valued. Employees can get raises based on performance. And everyone can look forward to another review every three years.
I’m asking the Legislature to appropriate these things from money we successfully pursued. Several years ago, we engaged in a long process with the IRS. We suspected the IRS owed GovGuam millions more in taxes meant for Guam. John Camacho, Marie Benito and the staff from Revenue and Taxation worked with IRS folks to reconcile everything. First, we got over $7 million reconciled and wired to the Guam Treasury. And then we used it for tax refunds. Then we got confirmation that at least $15 million more will be coming. That will also go to refunds.
We anticipated $14 million in reconciliations, though. We crossed our fingers that our math was right so we could make promised payments. It turns out we were wrong. We recently received confirmation that the reconciliation includes an additional $15 million for a total of $30 million. This is the money I’m proposing we use to pay the Law Enforcement and Hay obligations.
I suppose the first question I should answer is whether I believe this money should instead expand operational ability for agencies like DOE and GMH. Paying off liabilities in any company helps you to operate all your services better. And, if our budget passes the Legislature, DOE, GMH, Public Health, and the safety agencies will receive bigger budgets. These agencies will be able to operate without payroll liabilities weighing them down.
I’m just happy we can get this done. It’s another promise we keep. It’s another chapter written in the modern story of the government of Guam. This is a government earning back your trust after decades of decay. This is a government that’s just getting warmed up for the good times ahead for our people.
Thank you, and God bless.
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