Despite cash shortage, Adelup gets raises - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Despite cash shortage, Adelup gets raises

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Thousands of Government of Guam workers are waiting for the results of a compensation pay study from the Hay Group that will detail what sort of salaries they can expect for the future and whether that will mean a pay increase.  The details of the study are expected to be presented to the Legislature and the governor in the next few weeks.

While those government workers continue to wait for an increase in pay, as they are constantly told there is no money to fund the increases, apparently there is enough cash for raises at the front office.  And some of the increases are the second in less than two years.

Thousands of public sector staffers workers have waited years to receive an increase in pay, but some staffers at the Office of the Governor have seen raises in the last year.  Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff Shawn Gumataotao said, "There was a lot of inequity in the actual salaries given to all the employees here at the Office of the Governor. For the better part of the year we tried to make them whole.  In terms of trying to make it equitable."

Gumataotao contends the Camacho administration has done more with less as they boast having less staffers than pervious administrations and have remained under the budget given to them by the Guam Legislature.  So how does the Governor's Office justify giving raises while GovGuam workers wait to see if elected leaders will give them theirs, once the Hay Group compensation study if released?

Said Gumataotao, "These people do come to work everyday, very committed to serving the people of Guam and they're roles require a lot of time and effort and some of them were doing more work that we never would have thought about in a staff this small as the Administration has progress."

KUAM News compared salaries listed on the December 2008 Staffing Pattern with those provided to us last month, and we found raises had been given ranging from $2,000 to $24,000.  Special Assistant Diane Cruz-Martos received a $5,000 raise from $55,000 to $60,000.  This is her second raise in two years, as KUAM archives show she received a $10,000 raise in the summer of 2008.

Formerly a staff assistant at the Lieutenant Governor's Office and making $36,000, Charlene Calip moved to the Governor's Office, where she is the director of communications (even though the governor's staffing pattern lists her as a special assistant). She received a $24,000 raise, now making $60,000 a year.  Staff Assistant Pauline Gumataotao received a second raise of $2,000, bringing her to a total of $50,000.  This latest raise comes after an $8,000 just the year before.

Staff assistant Eugene L. Cruz is now making $7,000 more than he was the year before, now brining home $40,000.  This is also his second raise in two years.  The year before, he was given a $5,000 increase.  Junior R. Manuel went from being listed as a photographer to a staff assistant, now making $35,000 - $5,000 more than the year before.  Jermaine Alerta went from making $32,000 a year as a staff assistant in the Guam State Clearinghouse to $35,000 as a staff assistant.

Marissa Dela Rosa received a raise of more than $15,000, as she went from a 100% federally-funded administrative aide position in the Governor's Community outreach Office to a staff assistant now making $35,000.  Staff assistants Bonnie Chargulaf and Tomas C. Meno both received $3,000 raises while staff assistants, Alma Z. Maramias, Antonio Arriola and Opkal Blau all received raises of $3,360 as their salaries were increased to $22,000 a year.  Staff assistant Thomas J.P. San Nicolas received a $4,000 raise.

While there were no raises given at the Lieutenant Governor's Office, two people are no longer working in the office and three hires were made increasing the office's total salaries by more than $31,000.  Bureau of Information Technology Special Assistant Jaime Lacson received a $5,200 raise, while Guam Medical Referral Office Staff Assistant Annie Santos was given a $4,000 raise; while Office of Civil Defense Hazard Mitigation Specialist Rachelle Paulino was given a $2,800 increase.

"These are the classified permanent people and for the Office of the Governor and the unclassified workers, they're really apples and oranges," said Gumataotao.  "In all the agencies, they're only allowed to do so if they have the money to do so or if they have the budget and we've asked all of our directors over the last fiscal years as they prepare for them to make sure they have adequate amount of revenues to do it, or expenditures, if they didn't they weren't going to happen."

While there's money at Adelup to give raises, it remains to be seen whether the remainder of government employees will get increases in their pay, as that decision will be left in the hands of the governor and the Legislature once they receive the findings from the Hay Group later this month.

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