by Nick Delgado
Guam - Officials from the Guam Fire Department will be appearing before senators this Thursday for a roundtable discussion with the Committee on Public Safety. Committee chair Senator Adolpho Palacios plans to discuss how firefighters are being compensated.
Several firefighters assigned administrative duties at GFD's headquarters are getting the same amount as firefighters who work 24 hours shifts in the field. Other issues to be discussed include the 61 hours of non-productive bonus pay to firefighters on leave status. However, Rueben Olivas defends the actions of GFD, saying they follow both local and federal compensation laws.
He adds the uniformed personnel at the HQ are actually saving the government a half-million dollars annually. "We're supposed to be compensated because we work 120 hours so unlike a regular employee that gets overtime after their 80 hours, firefighters that work 120 hours will get regular pay at regular rate any hours up to 106 and after that federal law says that anything in excess of 106 you get paid time and a half and just because you go into the office and work administrative duties collaterally you're working both duties doesn't mean that they are not obligated to pay you," he said.
Representatives from the Public Auditor's Office, DOA and the Department of Labor have been asked to participate.
Thursday's roundtable gets underway at two in the afternoon in the Legislature's Public Hearing Room.