Pairs of senators from each party collaborated to sponsor a bill that would bring about paying merit bonuses to Government of Guam employees that, for some, were earned over a decade ago. 

Senator Frank Blas, Jr. was joined by Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and Senators Christopher Duenas and Joe San Agustin in introducing Bill 296-37, that appropriates $1,563,601.50 from revenues collected in excess of levels adopted in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Act (Public Law 37-42) to pay for merit bonuses earned by Guam Memorial Hospital Authority employees and others in various agencies.

Sen. Blas said, “The Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Act mandated that all merit bonuses earned by government employees from FY2010 to present be paid by Dec. 31, 2023. Throughout last year’s budget discussions, I along with other Senators inquired with administration officials on the status of the merit bonus payments due to deserving employees, and when the discussions seemed to be ignored, we directed that there would be finality to the issue by year’s end. Unfortunately, the administration failed to meet that mark, and fast forward to today, over $1.5 million in bonuses have yet to be paid.”

He also added, “The employees who earned and deserved these bonuses were made to wait and wonder if they were ever to receive payment while pay raises and questionable hirings were continuing to occur. In the case of GMHA, we learned that while current and former employees were owed over $850,000 in merit bonuses, their employer did not have the money to pay them and Adelup said that they could not help them.”

The Bill 296-37 is attached below for full viewing.