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Keeping Track! The Next Scud Hits Federal Compensation

So many pieces of legislation and so little time for campaigners to come up with ways to inhibit/prohibit pay increases for Federal employees. Proposals are coming out of Washington like scud missiles but looking less like true, well-researched bills to address real concerns with Federal compensation. What’s next? Freezing promotions?

Here’s an abridged list of active legislation:

  • A House proposal to extend the pay freeze for another year;
  • A House bill to prohibit step increases for federal employees through the end of 2012; part of the Honest Budget Act (HR 3844);
  • A proposal in the Senate to freeze federal employees’ pay for another two years, prohibit future step increases and bar an agency from granting additional step increases for the remainder of 2012; and
  • Similar legislation (S 1651) in the Senate to prohibit step increases through 2012.

What legislators are doing, when put into non-governmental terms, is no different than exposing private sector employees to brainstorming discussions between a CEO and the Senior Management Team when they confidentially toss around a pletora of compensation alternatives (some with promise, some bordering on “the ridiculous”), in an effort to find just the right solution to satisfy shareholder interests and company needs. If this happened at your private place of employment, how do you think it would effect your company’s productivity, it’s employee morale, and perhaps even the company’s turnover rate during the process and thereafter?

Perhaps it’s time to get a real handle on Federal compensation before sending bills to the floor; involve REAL compensation experts and use them as the gatekeepers for what proposals see the light of day! If not, what’s going on in Washington right now is likely to take a true toll on the Feds’ ability to attract future employees as well as to retain those who have more to gain by moving to greener, pastures.

Employee groups assail proposals to increase pension contributions. What do you think? Do we really want to back peddle when we’ve come so far in our efforts to attrack and retain the “best and the brightest”?

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It’s crazy…I find it real frustrating that politics place such a role here. Bad enough with pay freezes but step increases being frozen are a huge huge killer

Terrence (Terry) Hill

On top of the pay freezes and increases in pension contributions (effectively a pay cut), today there is a committee looking at eliminating the FERS Supplement, not only for new employees, but existing employees (like me) who have planned their retirement around this supplement, because the annuity amounts to 1% for each year. It’s hard to hold your head up when your pay and benefits are constantly criticized by the very body that approved them in the first place. Thank goodness for the public sector unions, who are the only advocates for Federal employees on Capital Hill. Although we often feel powerless to do anything about our pay and benefits, at least we aren’t completely voiceless.

Eric Melton

It’s getting harder and harder to stay motivated to fight to save tax dollars with my projects and my own initiative…