20% law enforcement retro-pay will be paid in phases - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

20% law enforcement retro-pay will be paid in phases

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Tax refunds, merit bonuses, law enforcement have watched as the government has made good on other obligations to the people but today the wait is over on what is owed to them. The holidays will be extra cheerful for public safety personnel.

The wait is finally over.  "All of you the good guys, the law enforcement officials of this island, thank you for all of your hard work and sacrifices. You have an administration and a people that respect you, honor you and are going to give you your just due," said Governor Eddie Calvo. And with that the island's chief executive announced his administration's plans to pay out the 20%. Because the government cannot afford to make the $20 million payment that is owed for retroactive pay all at once, the governor announced that the department of administration will make pay what is owed in a phase approached.

"Upon that first release of the phases of 20% retro in December, all of you folks in law enforcement will be getting the full 40% moving forward," Calvo said to a raucous ovation.

The pay adjustment will replace the Hay Plan for public safety personnel and the remainder of the retro-balance will be paid down throughout the remainder of the fiscal year. Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio added, "We ultimately found that this 40% that Eddie and I made a commitment when we were senators was going to be realized. It took some time, but we got there."

The Administration notes that paying down the remainder of the 20% pay adjustment has been one of the most challenging fiscal feats for the governor's fiscal team, not only due to the cost but the processing of liabilities due to those owed this payment including those who have retired, resigned or were terminated.

The Republican minority was on hand for today's big announcement, with Senator Tony Ada saying, "Thank you for sticking with the government and the people of Guam in ensuring we're always safe at night." Senator Brant McCreadie added, "This is something well deserved for all of you."

The announcement is welcome news for all public safety personnel and will no doubt be a huge morale booster, as Police Major Fred Chargualaf stated, "We've been doing our jobs and doing it well and we continue to do that. The incident down in Tumon was a classic example. We'll do it with pride and professionalism."

Acting Fire Chief John Wusstig said, "Thank you for not making us liars. We have believed in your leadership; that's what we tell our guys when they say, 'When's it going to happen?' It's going to happen. They've got to take care of priorities just like in our jobs we take care of priorities - our mission to protect life and property."

It's unclear at this point whether this announcement will apply to the Judicial Branch that has struggled to obtain the necessary funding to pay what is owed to their probation officers and marshals.  The chief justice has previously indicated that the Judiciary needs an appropriation to fully implement the legally mandated raises and retro-pay.

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