Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nena Proposed Sea Duty Differentials Legislation

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 6, 1998 - President Jacob Nena is proposing to Congress to establish a sea duty differential pay for the patrol boat personnel, the Maritime Wing of the FSM National Police, in an April 21st communication to Congress Speaker Jack Fritz transmitting a draft bill for consideration by the Congress.

Under the current arrangement, with elimination of overtime differential for Public Service employees which encompass the patrol boat personnel, they are entitled to compensatory time instead.

During several weeks at sea, many hours of compensatory time are accumulated which later are converted to annual leave when taken by patrol boat personnel when the boat is in port. This affects adversely the efficiency and effectiveness of the boat maintenance program. Additionally, less time was available for boats to spent at sea as personnel are trying to exhaust their accumulated leave hours.

"An employee of the Maritime Wing of the National Police shall be paid his adjusted base salary for all hours actually worked, up to but not in excess of eight hours per day, in any day or fraction thereof, including the sixth and seventh day of the work week, that he is on duty at sea," said Nena.

"No compensation, regular or overtime, no differential of any sort, and no compensatory time shall be due for any additional hours worked in any such day, regardless of how many hours the employee was actually required to work in that day," Nena added.

Hours actually worked while at sea, up to but not excess of eight hours per day, shall count as straight time for the purpose of determining compensatory time, if any, in a work seek spent partially at sea and partially not at sea.

The holiday differential shall apply in lieu of the sea duty differential while at sea on holiday.

The hazardous work differential shall apply in addition to the sea duty differential while at sea, provided that being at sea does not and of itself constitute hazardous work.

"Typhoon emergency differential shall not apply while at sea," Nena said.

The current system has resulted both in reduced morale and less time at sea. The entire patrol program has suffered, Nena reiterated.

With an optimistic anticipation for a favorable action of Congress, the administration has taken the liberty of including in the FY 1999 proposed budget an amount estimated to cover additional costs of the proposed changes in the law, Nena concluded.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356