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Apparently, a bunch of federal employees have banded together to create a petition on the White House's "We the People" platform which has garnered nearly 5,000 signatures. Here's the language from the petition:

Federal employees have had a pay freeze for the past several years and the pay and benefits for the federal workforce have been under serious attack during the national elections held this year.

Giving federal employees an extra holiday on December 24th, 2012 would be a good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce.

This is also consistent with past practice. President Obama provided a half-day off on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, 2009. President George W. Bush provided a half-day holiday on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2002, as well as several full days off the day before or after Christmas: Tuesday, December 24, 2001, Thursday, December 26, 2003, Tuesday, December 24, 2007, and Thursday, December 26, 2008.

We urge President Obama to issue an executive order on this issue.

 

What do you think? Should federal employees get Christmas Eve off in addition to Christmas Day?

 

 

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Would think that MAYBE a request for additional benefits MIGHT not be the best step foward now with the political battles going on over "the fiscal cliff"....

A quote from Mike Causey  Like people in the popular TV series, Doomsday Preppers, individual feds and groups representing them have been stockpiling political ammo to fend off a batch of worst-case scenario cuts in the federal benefits package.

 

Echoing Henry

Politicians had no problem mandating extra costs for Federal employees, and unlike a one-time day off, the TWO YEAR PLUS pay freeze and increased extra deductions from pay for retirement for new hires are PERMANENT. A one-time day off, when it's likely little productivity would be lost, has plenty of precedent. One would think MAYBE some small gesture is overdue, given the effective pay cuts Feds have suffered from for the past two years and continuing into 2013. 

It cannot be said enough: perception is reality in Washington -- and beyond.  With that said, this petition is a major PR gaffe.

With an unjustified low public approval rating already, career feds need to look at the big picture and think hard about how their actions are perceived by hard-working families outside of Washington who already view as a fat-cat bureaucrats.  Families who are struggling to just get by and make ends meet by working multiple jobs for less money.  What message does it send to taxpayers when feds demand another paid day off, another perk at their expense? 

Don't we already have enough paid national holidays plus generous leave?  The public at large certainly thinks so. 

What's more important than an extra paid holiday -- yes, even the Monday before Christmas or New Year's Day -- is showing the public that career feds understand the big picture: sacrificing during tough economic times. Our message should be that we value the principle of public service over personal pay and benefits. 

Only by creating the reality of shared sacrifice -- or at least the perception thereof -- will the public and Congress ever be open to ending the pay freeze and talk of future cuts to our pay and benefits. 

We don't hear members of the armed services demanding extra days off.  The public knows that our military is built on self-sacrifice and love of country.  The result, another likely annual pay raise for the military while the majority of career feds remain in a pay freeze, or worse.

Let's stay focused on the big picture, folks.  If you want the extra day off, just use personal leave -- plain and simple. If not, then don't ask why public approval of career feds is lousy and misguided.

DBG   

Excellent post. It's not just Federal workers that have had pay freezes. In the local sector it's been three year's since we've had a pay hike, and our health care costs have increased each of those three years. As public employees we already enjoy a fair wage, good benefits and ample time off. It's a bit arrogant to think we are "entitiled" to another day off. Reality is the perception of reality, and I don't think many people have much sympathy for this type of demand.

Yes we should. We work hard enough throughout the year with no pay raises and sometimes no appreciation so yes we most definetely should get Christmas eve day off since some of us celebrate christmas eve along with christmas day.

Not a fan of this idea.  We are afforded many benefits that our private sector counterparts don't receive and asking for another day off would just be piling on.  I am blessed to be employed, blessed to have the generous benefits I have.  Want the day off?  Take Annual Leave.  That's what it's for.

I do think that federal offices should be closed on Christmas Eve, but not because federal employees "deserve" it or it might raise our morale.  Rather, I think the offices should be closed to save the money involved in heating, lighting, etc.  I work at the main USDA building, Smithsonian Metro stop.  Our building, like most other federal buildings, lowers the heat over the weekend to conserve energy and save money.  It takes most of Monday for the building to return to a comfortable temperature.  It doesn't make sense to me to open the building up for what is sure to be a small number of employees who will be in the office on Monday. The temperature will be lowered again for Tuesday since the building will be closed and then ramped up again for Wednesday. It seems smarter to close on Monday when you multiply the savings across the federal government.

Now this is an interesting take on the subject, Sharon. I wonder what the cost savings is government-wide with this kind of move...a day of money saved.

Good point!

As someone who signed this petition, what happened to the sense of holiday spirit and good will?  I'm thankful and grateful that I am able to work for--and serve--the public.  However, I think that there needs to be recognition that we're people with feelings and family responsibilities.  Morale is at an all time low in many places; why not reward employees for their dedication and hard work?

 

I know that most disagree with me, but a "ba humbug" attitude is NOT helpful either. 

So true.

I'm with you Lori! This is a low cost - high pay- off option to boost morale!

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