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Mapp Gives Non-Union, Exempt Employees 3 Percent Pay Hike Two Weeks b4 Election

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – At least 1,200 non-union classified and exempt employees of the Virgin Islands Government will receive three percent cost-of-living salary increases retroactive to October 1, 2018.

Governor Kenneth Mapp authorized the salary increases via Executive Order on Thursday evening. Executive Order 485-2018 notes that these employees were not included in prior Executive Orders granting raises and that many of these workers had not seen a salary increase in as long as eight years.

“It is about providing a living wage for all workers in the Virgin Islands,” Mapp has said. “This administration remains committed to raising salaries and creating new jobs and economic opportunities in both the public and private sectors.”

The order states that the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal sent to the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands provided for a 3 percent salary increase for Non-Union Classified employees and Exempt employees of the Executive Branch. No Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Directors nor Assistant Directors will receive the 3 percent increase.

The latest Executive Order represents the Mapp-Potter Administration’s ongoing efforts to implement living wages in the territory. Governor Mapp began authorizing raises in 2016 and, as of this month, 5,873 government workers have received salary hikes in addition to the 3 percent cost of living increases announced today.

Earlier this year, Governor Mapp announced a significant increase to the minimum base salary for police officers, teachers, firefighters, social workers and other vital public employees in order to recruit and retain a skilled workforce. He also ordered the minimum wage for all government workers to be raised to $13 per hour.

In March of 2016, the Governor signed into law Act 7856 increasing the minimum wage for private sector employees.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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