Hold Up, Wait A Minute, There Might STILL BE A RAISE IN IT!

That may be our good friend George W. in the picture, but according to Emily Long of Government Executive, there might still be a raise in it! The pay freeze won’t halt all raises! This is good news for military, U.S. Postal Service workers, and Postal Regulatory Commission employees.

Long also states that the fridged new rules won’t affect:

  • Performance awards and bonuses; recruitment, relocation and retention incentives; and premium payments such as overtime pay;
  • Promotions, periodic within-grade step increases based on fully successful level of performance, and quality step increases for outstanding performance;
  • Adjustments in foreign areas to maintain a constant salary rate in U.S. dollars, or local currency, or to respond to foreign labor laws; and
  • Pay-setting flexibilities, such as the GS superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority for newly appointed employees under Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations 531.212 and the GS maximum payable rate rule under 5 CFR 531.221.

To view the complete article, visit GovExec.com.

That being said, what are your thoughts? Will pay setting flexibilities and the ability to give promotions and step increases help recruit and retain a diverse, qualified Federal workforce?

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Tim Anderson

First let me premise my comment by saying I do not believe federal employees are “overpaid.” However, it is fruitless to re-hash that argument over and over again as people will believe what they want and find studies to support thier view. I believe studies that show federal employees are overpaid are not comparing “apples to apples” but again…this is a politically charged topic with a no-win outcome. The pay freeze is here and it is what it is we as agencies now have to deal with all of it’s ramifications.

I do not believe the “pay freeze” will affect recruiting of new employees much as most new hires are being hired at entry level positions. These are people “looking for a job” and will not hesitate to get their foot in the door in a federal job for the stability and “decent” benefits. However, what I believe you will see is somewhat of a mass-exodus of more senior employees. Especially if there is more talk of policy changes to the federal retirement system. Talk of changing to a “high five” rather than “high three” in annuity calculations, talk of policies diminishing FEHB benefits, and all on top of the pay freeze will cause many senior staff to “get while the getting is good.” On the back side of this mass-exodus there will be a concern in many agencies on the lack of senior leadership. organizations are already scrambling to ratchet up their succession planning.

After the storm subsides the staff that remain will most likely remain on the federal roles longer in order to improve their high three or high five prior to retirement. If changes to FEHB and other retirement policies do come to fruition staff will stay on the rolls longer (as they will not be able to retire until later in life) which will have the opposite affect of the original goal of reducing federal salary expenditures.

Rob Ahern

It’s good to see that managers retain a small amount of flexibility to reward their employees. Either way, I think the pay freeze is silly and politically motivated; it would be more legitimate if pay for contractors working on Federal government projects was frozen, too. An accounting nightmare? Yes, but a bit more defensible, too.

Sam Allgood

One group was left out of the list:

  • Congress … their pay raises are automatic unless they vote to stop them (fat chance!)