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Governor urges directors to upgrade workforce salaries

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Among several issues Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga raised during a Dec. 2nd cabinet meeting, is the need for executive branch directors to conduct a thorough review of salaries of ASG workers, and upgrade the pay scale for workers, especially those who have served in government for many years, but still getting a low annual salary of $12,000-$14,000.

“It’s your responsibility as directors to make sure that pay for your employees is reviewed and upgraded,” the governor told directors. “Identify these employees and submit their names to Human Resources.”

According to Lolo, it’s the Administration’s goal to upgrade all salaries before leaving office and this is especially important for those who remain on the lower end of the pay scale, but have worked up to 30 years in government. One example cited by Lolo are the salaries of school bus drivers, many of them on the lower end of the ASG pay scale. Lolo said the local pay rate is probably the reason why some of the bus drivers don't get up in a timely manner to get students to school.

He reminded directors that it's their responsibility to carry out a review of their department, not the Department of Human Resources, which has been directed to conduct a review of salaries for bus drivers. Regarding agencies funded with federal grants, Lolo  pointed to the local Dept of Homeland Security, saying salaries of supervisors for this department require a thorough review, because it’s unfair that one supervisor gets $30,000 while another makes $58,000. As to how the government will fund this initiative, Lolo said it's the Administration's responsibility to look for money.

Lolo reiterated what he told directors during a cabinet meeting two months ago, to train the next upper-level personnel to take over the government when the administration leaves office in 12 months. Having a well-trained workforce will ensure smooth transition moving the government forward, when the next administration takes office, he said. The Lolo Administration's second consecutive four-year term officially ends before 12noon on Jan. 3, 2021.