by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam - Statement from Chuck Ada GIAA Executive Manager about Senator Rory Respicio's request
for an AG intervention regarding what he believes is an “extremely egregious act of voter suppression being conducted by the Guam International Airport Authority.” Senator Respicio is citing a letter he says was written by the Executive Manager and sent to all airport managers which encourages employees to vote during their non-duty hours otherwise they must fill out a leave form and obtain approval 24 hours in advance. The Majority Leader states GIAA management may not be aware that its actions are illegal.
It's extremely disappointing that Senator Respicio chooses to not only campaign on government time but would wrongfully accuse the Guam International Airport Authority of violating local law.. The memorandum that was issued on October 21st, which is well in advance of the upcoming election, is a standard letter developed by airport legal counsel and has been used the past twelve (12) years without incident.
The memorandum clearly identifies the local law that entitles our employees to two (2) hours of administrative leave; Title 3, Guam Code Annotated, Chapter 9, Conduct of Elections, Subsection 9127.
The Guam International Airport Authority operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with some divisions operating on three (3) different shifts per day. It is apparent that Senator Respicio is unfamiliar with shift work, as were encouraging all our employees operating on shifts outside normal working hours to exercise their right to vote, which obviously would be their non-duty hours.
Senator Respicio unfortunately chooses to confuse those not familiar with the Government of Guam's Personnel Rules & Regulations which clearly outlines the requirement timelines for leave request; "leave shall be submitted to the appropriate supervisor by the employee at least 48 hours in advance for leaves in excess of 40 consecutive hours and 24 hours in advance for leaves less that 40 hours". As a member of the Legislative branch for the past ten (10) years, I'm quite surprised he's not well versed with this policy.
In closing, it is our duty and obligation to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public through proper manning of our critical assets. Communicating to our employees their right to vote and having them communicate their timeline intentions to vote, ensure we're successful with our overall objective.