The acting governor in the Northern Marianas says the list of employees exempted from the 16-hour pay cut per pay period will be trimmed, pending the completion of an ongoing review of the policy.
Among those exempted from the pay cuts are police officers, corrections officers, firefighters, doctors, and nurses.
Eloy Inos says there have been "misunderstandings" as to how the exemption works, adding that it is not supposed to be a "wholesale exemption."
He says just because these positions are exempted or will get paid when they work during so-called austerity holidays does not mean that they should get paid even on days when they don't work.
Mr Inos, who oversees government finances, also said there have been minimal savings from the 16-hour pay cut because of the long list of employees who are on the exemption list.
The 16-hour pay cuts per pay period and unpaid holidays are expected to reduce government spending by some 21 to 22 million US dollars.