Treasury employees upset over salary increases for Treasurer’s ‘new’ key people
The move by Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ Pili to propose higher salaries in contract renewals for four of his top people in his Department is well within his Treasury Budget under “Special Programs,” he told Samoa News in response to questions.
Samoa News understands the Treasurer has proposed salaries ranging between $28,000 and $50,000 plus for four of his top people, all new to the Department.
Treasury employees told Samoa News that Pili’s Executive Assistant, who’s currently making $30,000+ will get a boost of $20,000 making her salary $50,000+, and some of those in the IT Department will also be getting salary increases, if his proposal is accepted.
The increase in salaries came up during the renewal of contracts for these specific employees. Samoa News understands that one of the IT officials will be getting an increase of $20,000 making his salary $50,000. Another IT employee is also getting a $20,000 boost making his salary $48,000, while yet another is scheduled for a $10,000 boost making his salary $28,000.
The complaints lodged by some of the Treasury employees is that these salary boosts are only for Falemao’s key people in his office.
In response via email from Washington DC, Falema’o disputes this, stating that he’s looking at increasing salaries for all Treasury employees.
“This is just a beginning of what I am doing for the rest of the department to upgrade their positions based on their performance and the forthcoming re-organization.”
He further stated that similar personnel actions have been processed elsewhere in other departments. Falemao said the Tax Division will also get their salaries upgraded.
“My tax division upgrade salaries are coming through as well as many other areas of Treasury, in fact we have a complete re-org of my Department coming up which will affect the salaries of many employees. Hence to isolate these individuals to satisfy... one individual is counterproductive of what we are trying to do.”
The complaint and documents came from within the Treasury Department.
The Treasurer was not happy with Treasury employees complaining to the media noting that this will jeopardize the strategy.
_“The incorrect information would jeopardize the intent behind this entire strategy as we are trying to move our actions consistent with the governor's mandate to aggressively meet our revenue forecast for this fiscal year. We need to look at the bigger picture of what is coming down the pipeline to make processes more efficient that will impact our economy,” he told Samoa News.
Queries sent to Human Resources Director Sonny Thompson last week were not answered as of press time, however Samoa News understands that HR did not honor the Treasurer’s proposed increases and moved to decrease the salaries in accordance with HR policies on salaries.
Another issue which surfaced last week was the hiring of John Marsh into the Treasury Office.
Falema’o explained that “John March (SIC) is working for Treasury in designated assignments taking advantage of his years of experience in the finance environment — specifically in the areas of tax exemptions, customs oversight, and other treasury related special projects.”