Branch: Retirement Fund deserves discussion - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Branch: Retirement Fund deserves discussion

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo in a special address doesn't hold back how he really feels about the GovGuam Retirement Fund's "furlough every other Friday" plan, saying it's just a fancy way of saying its a 32-hour work week or 20 percent cut in pay.  He added not only will this hurt every single employee but it will not have the effect of reducing the GovGuam workforce.

He wrote, "The Retirement Fund so cavalierly proposes this cut to all employees after spending the past five years losing hundreds of millions through bad investments. This is why we are paying so much of your tax money to the pension fund. It's because of the Retirement Fund's bad investments. Now, on top of taking your Tax dollars to afford their mistakes, they want to cut GovGuam employees' pay by 20 percent."

Calvo in his address said political leaders have to come to grips with the fact that true savings means cutting the size of government.  He adds his proposal allows employees to voluntarily separate from government service and that his proposal cuts the GovGuam workforce without hurting people but help those looking to retire. He added he will veto any bill that includes an across the board furlough. The governor said the retirement fund's proposal was commissioned by the legislature, which didn't like his spending cuts plan.

Democratic Party of Guam executive director Carlo Branch responds to the governor's special address, saying its grossly misfortunate that the Administration is choosing to misrepresent the Retirement Fund's letter as a legislative series of ideas. He adds the Retirement Fund deserves a discussion on their alternative plans not the political gamesmanship that the Administration is choosing to play.

He says if the governor wants to have a serious discussion maybe he and his staff should fully understand the proposals first before he issues a press release adding there are two other proposals presented by the Retirement Fund as well.

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