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Study Updated on GovGuam Compensation Plan

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The Department of Administration provided an update on the hay study this afternoon - a study on the classification of government-wide pay that has not been looked at for 18 years. With the military buildup on the horizon, this study is on target to be completed by the end of the year.   "You can't go 18 years without changing your payscales and not expect that the market hasn't moved for 18 years," said Neville Kenning, project director of the Hay Group, a human resources group tasked with conducting a new employee classification and compensation plan for GovGuam.  

The Department of Labor reports such accounts for roughly 24% of the island workforce.  The hay study dissects each job and looks at basic duties and benefits when making its overall recommendation for classifications and corresponding salary levels.   "The compensation philosophy will be for all branches of government so we can get some consistent principles into the design of the pay plans," said Kenning.   

However, not all GovGuam agencies would be affected. Some of the autonomous agencies have gone to the Legislature separately and had their own pay plans implemented or adopted for implementation already. These agencies include UOG, GCC, the Airport, and the Port Authority of Guam.  "The reason that they went to the Legislature based on my understanding is they are effectively saying we can't wait any longer," he said.    

Kenning says he is confident that this study, which has been focusing on market analysis of GovGuam jobs will provide answers that government employers have long been looking for.  He added, "The recommendations that we make as a result of the study are reasonably inline with what has already been implemented."  

Studies show that competitiveness of pay is critical for job retention, which can cost employers up to 75-125% of the first year's salary for an individual employee.  Importantly, numbers that the Hay Group uses for comparison are modeled after national figures and not other jurisdictions in the U.S.  "The definition of the market is actually set in law currently and it talks about the U.S. national average with appropriate consideration of geography," he said.  

And what is the U.S. national average? Federal government pay and about 1,000 employers within the Hay Group's existing database will be consulted to determine this data.  Said Kenning, "We will then be looking at adjusting those for cost of living factors related to Guam."   And this large project GovGuam is undertaking is on target with an aggressive timetable set for the end of the year. Recommendations will be made for a new compensation classification plan for all employees.

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