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Back Local News OAG hit for sitting on port union contract

OAG hit for sitting on port union contract

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COMPLAINTS about work scheduling at the Port Authority of Guam continue to drag on, pending the administration’s final action on the collective bargaining agreement between port management and the employees' union.

The Guam Federation of Teachers said the union contract, which has been approved by the PAG board and ratified by the union in November, has been sitting on the Attorney General’s desk since it was submitted for review in January.

Joleen Castro, executive director of GFT, said the final step involves the governor signing off on the collective bargaining agreement.

“But without the Attorney General’s approval, the governor cannot sign off on it,” Castro said. “I don’t believe there are any issues with the contract since the (PAG) board approved it and the union has ratified it. The GFT president has sent a letter to government officials asking for a status (update) but we have not received any response.”

The collective bargaining – a first for PAG employees, whose union is part of GFT – began in 2008.

Castro said the issue relating to the employees' work hours is one of the most salient provisions in the contract.

An officer of the PAG union, who requested not to be named, said port employees are currently working 10 hours a day without corresponding overtime pay in violation of the payroll compensation regulations that require only eight hours of work a day.

“Scheduling cannot be made to evade payroll overtime compensation policy and procedures,” the union officer said.

The PAG union has a pending complaint with the Civil Service Commission, challenging the 10-hour work schedule imposed on employees.

“We are still exploring the possibility of getting paid overtime for the extra two hours of work that we perform every day,” the union officer said. “Once the contract is in place, the complaint filed with the CSC will be nullified, provided that the port management follows the provisions in the agreement.”

The PAG union has 125 members who are all classified employees.

“Without this contract, we cannot even talk about issues affecting us without worrying about retaliation from the management. We can lose our job any time,” the union officer said.

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