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Gov's promise kicks in— ASG laborers receive pay hikes

It's official— some 300 to 500 American Samoa Government employees are receiving pay raises. The employees affected are those who were receiving $7,000 $8,000 or $9,000 a year and will now be getting salaries of $10,000 annually. This was confirmed by Acting Human Resources Director, Eseneiaso Nafanua Liu in response to Samoa News queries.


In June during the Labor Day celebration Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga informed government employees that the pay increase for ASG workers making less than $10,000 a year would go into effect in the new fiscal year, upon Fono approval of the administration’s final FY 2014 budget.


The governor also stated that Departments of Education and Public Works have many workers making less than $10,000 a year, however these salaries are not sufficient to provide for their families. He pointed out that these workers have been tirelessly serving the public, but many of them are making less than $10K.


Mrs Liu said that effective October 1, 2013 (beginning of the new fiscal year) all employees who are currently getting paid below $10K regardless of the type of appointment will have their salaries raised to at least 10K. 


The governor gave instructions to members of his cabinet to make sure they submitted the necessary paper work to Human Resources. 


“We started processing the affected employee's salary adjustments last month when the new fiscal year kicked in. There are more requests for salary adjustments coming in and we process them upon receipt of the paper work from the originating departments,” said Mrs Liu.


The acting director said she does not have the exact figure of how many employee's salaries are being adjusted, however HR’s last report (at close of last fiscal year) indicated between 300 and 500 employees are below the 10K salary bracket. 


This includes all the departments of the American Samoa government work force. All requests coming in after the effective date of October 1, 2013 will be retroactive to the date announced by the Governor, which is the first pay period of this new fiscal year, said Mrs Liu. 


Mrs Liu said she commends the Governor for such a bold move, noting that the cost of living has increased and this move will help alleviate conditions for each employee's personal economy. She added, "It’s a positive direction for our people."


Samoa News understands that each salary increase comes from the budget of the respective Department.