I am an owed retiree from the Dept. of Education for the Government of the Virgin Islands. I try to keep aware of issues effecting us here in the Virgin Islands, but I am not one who reads and does research on everything. What I do is attend the town hall and open forums where those who are presenting the "Facts" and those pro and con researchers. At these sessions I can hear for myself. After leaving the Retroactive Wage Commission Public Forum, I felt that this was another situation of the authorities just going through the motions. This 45 Million Dollar Bond Proposal seems that in order for the Government to fulfill their legal debt obligations to the 10,000 union workers they are giving us a 6 for a 9, because in the long run it is All of We tax payers will have to payback this Interest Bearing Loan, especially should the Government default on the loan.
My understanding is that the Legislature has not yet voted on the floating of this $45 mil bond loan, which funds have to be identified first, to show how this loan is to be repaid. This forum was to update and allow the owed government union workers to have some input as to how the monies should be distributed.
Since the Government’s total retro payment debt to union workers is $300 mil, one suggestion was to give everyone 15% of what they are owed.
As a retired union member, I have no problem with equal payments to all, which would be $4,500 or 15% of what each is owed. I understand and accept just because I am a retiree, I should have preference over current workers who are still paying into the system, I should be paid in full first, over them.
But I do feel that we the retirees and the deceased were never placed on our wage step nor were we paid, which also continues to effect our retirement annuities. As a retiree the debt on our wage step payment is the oldest of debt in this situation and that should be honored, first. A point made was that this would effect GERS, this is the Government’s debt responsibility, for all of these years the Government has been collecting interest on our money.
If we as property owners fail to pay our taxes, the government is quick to put a lien on our property, and if the Government fails to pay off this bond debt, aren’t our local assets at risk? My position is since there are no guarantees that the Government will ever be in the position to honor this debt, "Give Me Land" for what I am owed. There is the potential for tax revenue from the land exchange for the repayment of the Government’s Debt. In addition since the Government is the people this would be an equitable way to give some land back to the people of the Virgin Islands.
I will accept and prefer "Land" for the retroactive wage debt that I am owed by the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Ivan Butcher II