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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesGERS BOARD TO ROLL BACK SALARY INCREASES

GERS BOARD TO ROLL BACK SALARY INCREASES

The board of trustees of the Government Employees Retirement System has decided to roll back the salary increases given to GERS senior staff members in 1998 – at least temporarily.
The trustees announced Tuesday that the increases are on hold until they meet again, on Feb. 8, to make a final decision.
In December the board voted to reinstate hefty pay raises granted to top administrators in 1998 but never implemented. Some of the raises were close to 50 percent, bringing salaries to as high as $125,000.
There was a public outcry when the V.I. Independent broke the story and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull called upon the board to rescind the raises. The governor himself has no control over the raises since the system became a semi-autonomous agency in December.
It was, in fact, Turnbull who stopped the raises from going through in October.
GERS said Tuesday that published reports were wrong, but did not eleaborate. "The truth of the matter is that the GERS senior staff is a very dedicated and hardworking group of employees. These unclassified employees have not seen salary increases since 1996, although in most instances they deserved increases," saaid a release.
In 1998, it said, the board attempted to address the issue.
In pulling back, the board said it recognized the fiscal realities in the V.I. and acknowledged that other government employees are owed retroactive wages.
"However, the board feels that it must cautiously approach this issue, as it must in all its decisions. The board urges the community to be calm and allow the trustees to carry out their fiduciary duties."
There is some concern that the employees affected might sue if they do not get their raises, since the increases were authorized in 1998 by board resolution and senior staff members signed off on the raises.

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The board of trustees of the Government Employees Retirement System has decided to roll back the salary increases given to GERS senior staff members in 1998 – at least temporarily.
The trustees announced Tuesday that the increases are on hold until they meet again, on Feb. 8, to make a final decision.
In December the board voted to reinstate hefty pay raises granted to top administrators in 1998 but never implemented. Some of the raises were close to 50 percent, bringing salaries to as high as $125,000.
There was a public outcry when the V.I. Independent broke the story and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull called upon the board to rescind the raises. The governor himself has no control over the raises since the system became a semi-autonomous agency in December.
It was, in fact, Turnbull who stopped the raises from going through in October.
GERS said Tuesday that published reports were wrong, but did not eleaborate. "The truth of the matter is that the GERS senior staff is a very dedicated and hardworking group of employees. These unclassified employees have not seen salary increases since 1996, although in most instances they deserved increases," saaid a release.
In 1998, it said, the board attempted to address the issue.
In pulling back, the board said it recognized the fiscal realities in the V.I. and acknowledged that other government employees are owed retroactive wages.
"However, the board feels that it must cautiously approach this issue, as it must in all its decisions. The board urges the community to be calm and allow the trustees to carry out their fiduciary duties."
There is some concern that the employees affected might sue if they do not get their raises, since the increases were authorized in 1998 by board resolution and senior staff members signed off on the raises.