by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz is seeking a legal opinion on proposed salary bonuses for dozens of Department of Public Health and Social Services employees. Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services presented the agency $173,000 as a bonus for making significant improvements to errors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Public Health Director J. Peter Roberto announced that the federal money would be used to give $2,500 bonuses to himself and 51 employees of the department.
In a letter to the Attorney General, Cruz cites a law that requires merit bonuses be paid based on 3.5% of the classified employee's base salary. The lawmaker has asked for a legal review of whether the proposed $2,500 bonuses conform with the law and whether unclassified employees like the director are entitled to such a bonus.