Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has announced that raises and salary increases that were owed to Virgin Islands Fire Service (VIFS) personnel from the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement but were delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have been paid to those employees.
The VI Fire Service paid out $353,766 in retro payments to 138 members in both districts – $204,447 to 95 members in the St. Thomas-St. John District and $149,318 to 43 members in the St. Croix District. Notices of Personnel Action (NOPAs) were processed effective Oct. 1, 2019, for unionized officers and October 1, 2020, for unionized supervisors. Retroactive wages have been paid for all executed Notices of Personnel Actions.
“I want to thank our dedicated Fire Service personnel for their patience while we worked to fulfill the terms of the collective bargaining agreements,” Fire Service Director Daryl George Sr. said. “I also want to express my gratitude to the staff for their great work and for the excellent level of service they maintain on behalf of the community.”
The governor also thanked the V.I. Fire Service personnel for their patience and their dedication.
“Since the Bryan-Roach Administration took office, we have been working on stabilizing government, restoring the public’s trust and prioritizing the territory’s recovery. We’re proud now to be in a position to make good on many long-standing obligations of the Virgin Islands government,” Bryan said.
“Our first responders work hard day in and day out and they deserve to be duly compensated. While we are proud to be in this position, we still have work to do and plan to continue fulfilling the other obligations and collective bargaining agreements still pending,” said the governor.
NOPAs still are pending for 25 individuals and seven retirees promoted after Oct. 1, 2019, and Oct. 1, 2020.
For employees who received an action – such as a promotion, career incentive, certification, transfer within the department, etc. – prior to the implementation of the negotiated increase, there are additional steps that must be completed prior to the effective salary increase.