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NEWS: Nurses to protest; front liners gipped on pay; Adelup & cabinet take home the bacon

UOG employees get double pay; nurses, medics, doctors, linemen, mayors's employees, and all others do not

By Eric Rosario

(Tumon, Guam) Government of Guam front liners have been working during the public health emergency since mid-March and have been earning emergency pay at double their rate of pay, and hazard pay. But the Leon Guerrero administration isn't paying them, and now nurses are going to protest.

No line agency employee has received emergency pay, and according to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and director of administration Ed Birn, none of them will. The employees of Guam Waterworks Authority and Guam Power Authority who have been called to work during the crisis were paid for a month, before the agencies revoked the double pay provisions in their rules effective April 26. University of Guam employees also are receiving double pay.

The Guam Federation of Teachers is organizing a class action lawsuit to get front liners paid the emergency pay they have earned.

"We're going to fight this," GFT vice president Sanjay Sharma said.

Government shorts employees on hazard pay

"We also understand that hazard pay hasn't been paid for three out of the four pay periods since the emergency started," Guam Federation of Teacher vice president Sanjay Sharma said. "Employees only were paid partially for hazard pay in the one paycheck they received."

Nurses with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, and mayoral office staffers on the front lines have confirmed they received only half of the hazard pay they have earned, and only for one pay period.

Department of Education employees also are getting shafted. According to superintendent Jon Fernandez, "The 15 and 25 percent categories received their pay last week and we are working on catching up on the 10 percent category. We are working on the reimbursement as we are able to add up the numbers. For this reason, we are still catching up on the 10 percent employees but should be able to pay soon."

Adelup staffers and cabinet members rake in hazard pay

The following 19 cabinet members are receiving hazard pay for their assignments to the hotel quarantine and isolation sites:

  1. Alice Taijeron, president of the Guam Housing Corporation

  2. Rebecca Respicio, director of the Guam Energy Office

  3. Lasia Casil, executive director of the Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority

  4. Jermaine Alerta, executive director of the Guam Developmental Disabilities Council

  5. Melanie Brennan, director of the Department of Youth Affairs

  6. Victor Villagomez, deputy director of the Department of Parks and Recreation

  7. Phyliss Leon Guerrero, director of the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities

  8. Michelle Perez, deputy director of DISID

  9. Jack Hattig, administrative director of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission

  10. Adrian Cruz, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture

  11. Arlene Santos, director of the Guam Public Library System

  12. Krisinda Aguon, deputy director of DYA

  13. Walter Leon Guerrero, administrator of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency administrator

  14. Gerard Toves, deputy director of the Department of Labor

  15. Joseph Borja, director of the Department of Land Management

  16. Jesse Garcia, deputy director of the Department of Public Works

  17. Cecil Orsini, executive director of the Guam Contractors Licensing Board

  18. Matt Santos, deputy director of the Bureau of Statistics and Plans

  19. John Quinata, deputy manager of the airport

According to a March 30, 2020 memorandum released to Kandit News from a Freedom of Information Act disclosure, then-deputy chief of staff Jon Junior Calvo detailed the following Adelup staffers to the quarantine and isolation hotel sites:

  1. Richard Arroyo

  2. Kathleen Cepeda

  3. Lawrence Alcairo

  4. Candise Aragon

  5. Kimberly Orsini

  6. Tina Sanchez

  7. Alejandro Rosalin

  8. Patrick Finona

  9. Benny Rosalin

  10. Sean Scroggs

  11. Alfred Aguon

  12. Evonnie Hocog

  13. Dwaine Sanchez

  14. Bentley San Nicolas

Agriculture deputy director Adrian Cruz was photographed in the middle of the work day Thursday conducting private business, even as he was detailed to quarantine duty and is accruing hazard pay for those hours.

Nurses threatened if they protest

Paystubs sent to Kandit from public health nurses show the Leon Guerrero administration has paid the nurses only half of the hazard pay they earned in only the last pay period, and no double pay they have earned whatsoever.

"One of the nurses here was so upset when we got our checks that she wanted to walk out, but they threatened to have her license taken away," one of the nurses told Kandit on condition of anonymity over fear of retaliation by the Leon Guerrero administration.

About 40 DPHSS nurses signed up with the GFT to protest at Adelup today, but canceled the protest due to the threat.

Some of the nurses, however, are ready to fight the administration. Nurses are organizing a protest at the ITC intersection Tuesday after work and hope Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero sees them protesting so they can be paid what they have earned.

Another nurse wrote to Kandit:

"It is with such sadness and a heavy heart that we nurses must take this course of action to be treated with the respect and value for which we are worth. "Many of us nurses sought the path of helping others that are in need, it was our choice to venture off into that path with altruistic intentions and views. "As the CoVID-19 Pandemic hit, we, as a whole, were not prepared for such a life changing moment to hit every single person across the board. Yet, with our hearts in tack, and our desire to help, we stayed the course for which we charted ourselves on. "Our frustration is as a result of empty promises and a lack of care from our Governor, someone who was once a nurse by title, yet doesn't display the heart of what us Nurses are born with. "To witness the double standards before our eyes is not only insulting to the risks we enter every day, but it's also heartbreaking that decisions are being made by someone who calls themselves a nurse and a Governor. "We enter the doors on a daily, bearing the risk of carrying CoVID-19 to our loved ones at home. We are not compensated with even a fair salary of competitive wages, yet our Governor adds insult by rewarding our efforts with 25% of differential pay, in some cases, $100 over the course of the past seven (7) weeks, with six (6) days a week in some cases. Seven (7) days have been spent abiding by a leadership of ineptness and one that's clearly lacking compassion. "While others are afforded their pay, some with overtime, or at least their differential, we continue to show up day in day out with our spirits broken, but our strength in tact knowing that we each took an oath to ourselves to help those in need. But at some point, we nurses must take care of ourselves and seek what's right for us. "There were countless times many of us had scares of having CoVID-19, and there have also been quite a few times where our fellow nurses HAVE tested positive. "We understand the current environment as it is, however, the current environment within the medical community is not conducive to one's mental health and well being. "Imagine for a minute working six (6) days a week since the inception of CoVID-19 and receiving a differential pay for all those efforts and hours of only $165.00, which does not include Saturdays. This little was promised to us by 05/08/2020, yet the weekend has come and gone, and we still have yet to receive. "What we are seeking is some appreciation, some reward for the efforts put forth, the physical, emotional and mental strain on ourselves and our loved ones, from a leader, a Governor who ran under a platform that she is a mother and a nurse, because her actions clearly show and state otherwise. "It has been said that actions speak louder than words, and her actions are clearly indicative of a horror movie unfolding in real life."

Other nurses, who were hired during the public health emergency, still have not been paid at all.

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