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All semiautonomous and govt agencies required to participate in Flag Day parade

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga [SN file photo]
Employees wondering whether they're going to get paid for it

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has directed all government entities including semi autonomous agencies to “fully participate” in the 2018 Flag Day Parade on Apr. 17th at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.

This is according to a March 2 memo, “Participation of all ASG departments in 2018 Flag Day Parade,” from the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Fiu J. Saelua to ASG department directors and chief executive officers of semi autonomous agencies.

Such requirement — since the memo was released — doesn’t sit well with many government employees, who contacted Samoa News to comment. Some pointed to the impact faced by many families following Tropical Storm Gita while others argue that participation in the parade should be voluntary.

“For ASG employees whose homes and personal property suffered major damage or were destroyed, where are these people going to get money to buy material for required uniforms to participate in the parade?” asked one long-time ASG employee.

Another employee added, “So the order from the Governor’s Office means storm- impacted ASG employees will have to choose — buy material for uniforms or use limited financial resources to buy necessities for the family.”

“Do we take care of our families first — which is a priority — or comply with what the director will tell us to do? March in the parade with a uniform or get in trouble?” were questions raised by other ASG employees.

“There must be exceptions to having to participate in the parade,” said some of the employees, who all spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from their directors or supervisors for speaking to the media.

In his memo, Fiu explained that the Governor “has officially directed all ASG departments and agencies, including semi-autonomous agencies to fully participate in the Flag Day Parade.”

Fiu informed cabinet members to “ensure all your department staff and employees are well-informed on this directive, including other related logistics such as uniforms to alleviate any confusion.”

To assist Flag Day commentators and the Parade Committee logistics, cabinet members are requested to submit by Mar. 14th to both the Governor’s Office and the Parade Committee chairman, Motusa Tuileama Nua, who is also the Health director: the total number of employees, and the names and total number of divisions within your department, according to the memo.

The biggest question raised by ASG employees that contacted Samoa News is whether government workers will get holiday pay for participating in the parade, since Flag Day is an official ASG holiday.

“I believe some of us will be raising this question with our supervisors,” said two ASG employees.

Based on ASG’s 2018 calendar of events released during January’s cabinet meeting,  Flag Day, which falls on a Tuesday, will be a one-day only event.

In other Flag Day news, the fautasi race seems to be 'on' again, while the cricket league is still 'off' — not happening. (See story else where in today's Samoa News)