Guam - In the past two days, both the Department of Public Works and Department of Chamorro Affairs submitted their layoff plans as part of cutting costs and addressing GovGuam's increasing deficit. As more layoff plans are expected, what happens next with the bumping of public sector employees?

In the past two days, 20 positions have been identified for layoffs as part of Governor Eddie Calvo's Reduction in Force Advisories. It doesn't mean the people holding such positions will be released instead a lengthy process follows to determine who ultimately will be laid off. According to DOA human resources administrator Shane Ngata, that process begins with running a retention register for employees in the identified positions up for layoffs.

He told KUAM News, "And the way that works is it's a combination of years of service and performance and we run a register and they're allotted so many different points for outstanding evaluation, satisfactory evaluation and total GovGuam service and their assigned a number of points."

DPW will be the first to go through the Department of Administration's Retention Register. Civil Service Commission executive director Tony Lamorena says it's a rather complex process for an employee worried about layoffs to understand and is even seeking its legal counsel to ensure all rules and regulations are followed correctly. "It is very complicated because there's not only bumping rights within the agencies but within the other government agencies, so if you had an individual who was terminated in one agency, based on his Retention Registry scores, he or she can actually look at other positions in the same class within their respective agency and if none available can look at other agencies.

"So the individual who is originally identified to be terminated may not in fact be the one to be terminated, it may be someone else within another agency."

Ngata says it should take at least 60 days for someone to actually be laid-off following their individual layoff notice, saying, "Then they certainly, then what's going to happen, their name will be put on a layoff reinstatement list, which is good for two years, and that will give them the opportunity to come back once the situation within the government gets better and they will also be put in priority placement program where they can sign up for positions that they qualify for. So should those positions become available, they'll be put into those positions."

Although no actual layoffs have taken place yet, Lamorena says he has been receiving inquiries from employees worried about their jobs, but can't address any concerns or issues until action is taken. He does expect many once layoffs are implemented, saying, "You're dealing with an individual's job - obviously we won't be able to pay his mortgage and that type of thing, more than likely in these situations employees will appeal just to ensure all procedures were followed."

If you want to know what the procedures are you'll find them on DOA's web site.

Today Senator Judi Guthertz introduced Bill 338 to protect merit employees who are to be dismissed due to possible layoffs and reductions in force will gain a right of first refusal for positions available elsewhere in government service. The current law offers this only to those displaced by privatization. The legislation also calls on DOA to set up a vacancy pool that lists all vacant positions open for recruitment in GovGuam.