by Nick Delgado
Guam - The Civil Service Commission heard arguments from the Airport and Airport Rescue Firefighters who have filed a grievance for the reduction of overtime hours that was taken away last year. AARF Personnel Attorney Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje argued that the reduction of her clients established 120-hour work schedule was not only a change in the status quo, but resulted in safety hazards and a disregard of local and federal laws.
"We are asking basically for this commission to find that this grievance review board failed to review the inextricably intertwined nature of the safety violations when evaluating whether the status quo was violated," she said. "GIAA's legal position is that there are no occupational safety and health laws to protect this class of employees they are the only Government of Guam employees who are exempted from any protection for occupational and safety law."
The Guam International Airport Authority, through its legal counsel, Mia San Clare, argued that the review board acted appropriately and overtime is discretionary. "The review board consulted with the department of labor, the department of administration, they researched the fair labor standards act they went through and consulted the agencies that you'd expect to know the answers and they base their decision on the result," she said.
The commission voted 5-1 in favor of management. Attorney Terlaje meanwhile says they will wait for the decision to be officially signed from the Commission before deciding whether her clients will appeal that decision in the Superior Court.