PALAU BILL WOULD RAISE GOVERNMENT SALARIES

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By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Dec. 27) — The Palau Senate has passed a bill which would give national government employees a uniform percentage pay increase.

Sen. Alan Seid, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Financial Matters, said the bill, which is now with the House of Delegates, is slightly different from what was earlier proposed.

"I guess it’s high time to increase the salary. The cost of living has gone up. Though the increase is modest, I believe it’s good for the country to provide higher pay (to government employees)," Seid said.

The bill would establish a new position classification system by updating the salary scale to a more modern and competitive compensation plan.

The Senate committee said that the new salary scheme would place all employees on an "equitable and cost effective salary base schedule by providing them with consistency in salaries and wages."

The bill, Seid said, proposes a lower pay increase for the executive and judicial branches compared to what was originally proposed.

The president’s annual salary will be increased to US$62,000 from US$50,000 a year.

The vice president’s salary will be increased from US$45,000 to US$52,000.

Salaries of the ministers will be increased to US$42,000 from US$30,000 a year.

Salaries for contract employees and other judicial branch professionals will be paid according to grades 1-18 of the base and salary schedule as determined by the chief justice.

Associate judges of the Court of Common Pleas will receive an annual salary of US$40,000. If he is a licensed attorney, he will receive an additional US$15,000 a year, for a total salary of US$55,000.

The presiding judge of the Court of Common Pleas will have an additional US$5,000 per year for a total salary of US$60,000 if he is a licensed attorney.

Full time associate judges of the Land Court will receive an annual salary of US$40,000 per year. If he is a licensed attorney, he will receive an additional US$20,000 a year, for a total salary of US$60,000.

The Senior Land Court judge will receive an additional US$5,000 per year for a total salary of US$65,000 if he is a licensed attorney.

Each associate judge of the National Court will have annual salary of US$60,000 while the presiding judge of the court will receive an annual salary of US$65,000.

December 27, 2005

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