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NEWS: Senators eliminate emergency pay

By Jacob Nakamura

(Tumon, Guam) If Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signs Vice Speaker Telena Nelson's hazard pay bill into law, government workers on the front lines of the emergency operation will no longer be entitled to time-and-a-half pay.

That's because an amendment was made to Ms. Nelson's bill that would eliminate the overtime pay provision's applicability to the current public health emergency. The provision is contained in the government of Guam's personnel rules and regulations.

The amendment was made without objection during Thursday's legislative session. However, at least two senators Kandit has spoken with were unaware that the elimination of this pay was detailed in that amendment to the bill.

It isn't too late for senators to amend the bill, though. While senators did end debate on the measure and send the bill to its voting file, nothing stops senators from pulling the bill back onto the floor to amend it again before passing it on to the governor.

While this bill will remove the time-and-a-half provision from this public health emergency from the time it becomes law forward, several government employees who have been working the emergency have said their paychecks since it started has not reflected the overtime pay accorded to them under Guam's payroll laws.

Kandit asked the Joint Information Center and the Governor's Office about this matter two weeks ago, and has yet to receive a comment on it.

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