Guam News - Guam News
Guam - During Monday night's first hearing on the Governor's spending cuts measure, DOA Director Benita Manglona acknowledged that the 3 sections dealing with reductions in firefighter benefits will be removed from the bill, thus preserving the current benefits enjoyed by GFD personnel.
Those are Sections 12,13 and 14. The Sections have to do with changes to overtime compensation, the repeal of incentive pay and elimination of non-productive pay for Guam Firefighters.
Those Sections were recommended by an August 2011 audit issued by the Office of Public Accountability which concluded "Guam Fire Department (GFD) uniformed personnel receive pay and leave benefits surpassing those of all other Government of Guam (GovGuam) employees and which appear inequitable."
An April 2011 opinion from the Guam Attorney General also recommended the elimination of non-productive pay concluding "the Legislature should address the effect of the 61 hour bonus paid solely to firefighters on leave, which the rest of the GovGuam employees may find
unfair, and taxpayers may find too generous."
However, lawmakers have been under intense pressure from firefighters to keep their benefits intact and eliminate the proposed revisions from the Governor's Bill. And Monday night Manglona acknowledged that those provisions will now be removed and replaced by an amendment proposed by GOP Senator Mana Silva-Taijeron.
Silva-Taijeron's amendment would allocate the savings from the recently awarded Telecommunications contract. The contract was awarded to a bidder offering telecom services for $1.6 million dollars less than what GovGuam currently pays.
That contract award is currently under protest.
Senator Cruz was quick to point out that he had previously proposed utilizing the same telecom savings for the same purpose.
At the end of the hearing, the Vice Speaker also said that he would not accept Manglona's statement that the Sections reducing firefighter benefits would be removed unless he received written assurance from the Governor's office to that effect. The Senator said that he still intended to carrying on with the hearing for Guam Firemen Tuesday evening.
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