BREAKING NEWS: No pay raises for GDOE this week

Guam Department of Education employees under the General Pay Plan will not be receiving their 22 percent pay raises this week, according to GDOE spokeswoman Michelle Franquez.

This makes it now six weeks, or three pay checks since senators authorized the pay raises to go into effect.

The problem is that the Guam Department of Administration’s transfer of the cash allotment GDOE needs to pay the raises still is in process.

“It is being processed,” governor’s spokeswoman Krystal Paco-San Agustin told Kandit. “GDOE is tracking that it is being processed as well.”

Sen. Chris Barnett, whose legislative committee has oversight of GDOE, asked director of administration Ed Birn during a hearing last week whether his agency had remitted the cash to GDOE.

“It’s being transmitted either today or tomorrow,” Mr. Birn told Mr. Barnett last week.

GDOE workers reportedly were not provided any notice from their acting superintendent, Dr. Judith Won Pat, about the additional delay in their entitled pay raises as of mid-afternoon Thursday. Several GDOE employees, whose paychecks hit the bank Thursday told Kandit their checks did not reflect the 22 percent pay raise.

“I’m disappointed there wasn’t better communication from GDOE to its employees on this issue,” Mr. Barnett said. “I know I’m not the only one who was getting a ton of calls and messages about this issue – simply because GDOE management failed to communicate to its employees the status of raise payouts. I had asked the acting superintendent to keep GPP workers in GDOE better informed about this. Let’s not forget the GPP workers in GDOE are not the highest paid workers, but they are definitely some of the hardest working in GovGuam. They need that money, and we didn’t work hard to pass it quickly just to have GPP workers first get the runaround from Adelup, and then have to rely on the media to find out whether or not they were getting their 22 percent increase. They have been counting on that money, and they should have been able to count on Adelup and GDOE doing what they could expeditiously to get the raises out to the people who deserve them.”

The pay raise proposal by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero was predicated on the supposed need for GDOE employees to be paid 22 percent more in order to attract and retain procurement personnel, whose positions fall under the GPP.

Ms. Leon Guerrero explained in her state of the island address earlier this year, where she announced the proposal, that there was an urgent need to raise salaries at GDOE to hire the procurement specialists who will then expedite the contracting of repairs to public schools. She said the raises needed to happen by April 1 in order for GDOE to hire people on time to fully obligate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal pandemic education funds the administration thus far has failed to obligate.

GovGuam will have to return that money if it is not used by certain deadlines.

Several other agencies, including all the line agencies of the government, received their pay raises weeks ago.

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