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THIS JOB ACTION MEANT HARDLY ANY WORK STOPPAGE

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Oct. 1, 2001 – After 20 years of working side by side in their respective local districts of the American Federation of Teachers, Cecil Benjamin and Glen J. Smith are back together again — at the Labor Department.
Benjamin, the recently sworn-in commissioner of Labor, confirmed Monday that Smith has been hired to fill the long-empty position of director of labor relations. Smith's last day as president of the St. Thomas-St. John teachers union was Aug. 31. He started his new job last week.
Smith ran unsuccessfully for the Legislature two years ago. Benjamin, then president of the St. Croix teachers union, also ran for the Senate then, also unsuccessfully.
Benjamin refused to say how much Smith is being paid in his new Labor post, saying he considers it private information even though the job is a taxpayer-paid position. He referred such questions to the government's Personnel Division.
When Kenneth Hermon, special assistant to the Personnel director, Joanne Barry, was asked about the salary level, he said he was not aware that the position had been filled. Since it is an exempt position, it falls outside of the classified service for which Personnel keeps salary listings. For exempt positions, the head of the department or agency involved recommends a salary to the governor, who has the final say.
To obtain the salary information, Hermon said, a request had to be submitted in writing; there was no response to that written request by the end of the business day Monday.

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