DPW staffers claim mistreatment by GBB - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DPW staffers claim mistreatment by GBB

by Mindy Aguon

Apparently things aren't running so smoothly at the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works. Concerns have been raised by nearly a dozen employees alleging mistreatment and abuse by the federal receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton.  The issue has become of such concern that an emergency meeting was called with the court.

GBB and the Attorney General's Office called for an emergency hearing with the District Court on Thursday morning.  According to minutes filed with the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mikel Schwab, Deputy Attorney General Patrick Mason and receiver representative David Manning, via teleconference, participated in the emergency hearing.  According to Deputy AG Mason, the receiver wanted to meet with the court to clarify its authority regarding Solid Waste employees under DPW as it relates to disciplinary matters. 

Manning says issues were raised by the Department of Administration on whether or not the receiver must get the concurrence of DPW Director Larry Perez before imposing disciplinary action on Solid Waste Division employees.  The District Court judge this afternoon issued a decision on the matter clarifying that the receiver does in fact have the authority to take disciplinary action in line with government of Guam rules and regulations. 

Manning says the receiver believed that was the case but merely wanted to get clarification from the court as he claims there was some confusion within the Department of Administration and the attorney general's office. 

Director Perez meanwhile confirms with KUAM News that he has received complaints from Solid Waste Division staff who are alleging mistreatment, abuse and threats from the receiver.  Perez says the employees have mentioned filing a grievance against the receiver which could raise questions about what could be done if it was ever determined that the receiver was found in violation of government rules.  Perez says 11 of the 70 Solid Waste Division employees met with him recently to discuss their concerns. 

The director adds he knows the receiver has a responsibility to deliver a service and comply with the mandates of the court. 

Manning, meanwhile, responded to the allegations saying that GBB does expect employees to work and meet all the reasonable expectations.  He added that they do enforce the rules but do go out of their way to be fair to everybody. 

Manning says overall morale is high at the Solid Waste Division, but he understands that as is the case with most companies, there will always be a few disgruntled employees.

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