Governor Albert Bryan Jr.
In an unpublicised executive order dating back to the beginning of May, Governor Albert Bryan has raised the salary cap for certain high-level employees of the executive branch of government, according to a copy of the document obtained by the Consortium.
The executive order references the November 2001 establishment of the salary scale for exempt employees, as well as a series of amendments from 2003-2005 which reduced salaries of those workers because of the territory’s financial crisis. Executive order 421-2005 restored salaries back to 2001 levels, and in 2007, the salary cap for Executive Level 1 employees was raised from $97,000 to $115,000.
The cap was again raised in 2011, from $115,000 to $130,000 a year. Now, with this executive order, the salary cap for high level public officials has again been lifted, to allow those classified as Executive Level 1 employees to earn as much as $145,000 annually.
Though the order was signed by the governor on May 1 and attested by Senate President Novelle Francis, neither of the respective leaders' offices announced the significant change or publicly discussed its potential financial impact on the territory.
“Salaries in the job market for executive level employees continue to rise,” the executive order explains by way of rationale. “Attracting and retaining quality managerial employees within the Executive Branch continues to present a challenge.”
Questions to Government House about the executive order, including whether current employees will receive salary hikes commensurate with the new policy, and about the impact of the new salary range on the government’s wage bill, were not answered as of press time.