AFGE Council 238 Issue Booklet, Fast Facts, and the 10 Things Federal Government Employees Want You to Know

Here are a few documents that can help with congressional visits and issues.

AFGE Council 283 Issue Booklet Feb. 2017: This document urges Congress to support the EPA’s budget and its work towards clean water and air, so it and partners can continue to protect Americans’ health.

10 Things Federal Government Employees Want You to Know: 2 pager highlighting the merits of federal employees and the 2017 legislative priorities.

2017 Fast Facts: Facts from federal pay and benefits to crippling the union, check out the myths and the attacks on federal employees.

Report shows federal employment diversity flat

Federal Eye
Report shows federal employment diversity flat

By Joe Davidson August 18 at 10:00 AM

Racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the federal workforce remained essentially flat from fiscal 2010 to 2011, according to data the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) planned to release Monday.

The percentage of women in the workforce dropped slightly, while percentages for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders rose almost imperceptibly. The increases were less than one-tenth of a percentage point.

Women made up 43.81 percent of the workforce in 2011, down from 43.97 percent the year before, “after a slow but steady increase,” according to the EEOC.

For racial and ethnic groups, the changes were:

African American, 17.94 percent to 17.97 percent
Latino, 7.90 percent to 7.95 percent
Asian, 5.90 percent to 5.95 percent
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 0.36 percent to 0.38 percent. Continue reading “Report shows federal employment diversity flat”

Travel Per Diems Aren’t Changing in Fiscal 2015

Travel Per Diems Aren’t Changing in Fiscal 2015

Flickr user Jason Kuffer

Government travel per diem rates will not change in fiscal 2015, according to the General Services Administration.

“The standard lodging per diem rate will remain at $83,” according to a notice published in Friday’s Federal Register. “The meals and incidental expense tiers also remain unchanged for fiscal 2014 and range from $46-$71.”

While the standard rates apply to about 2,600 counties, 400 additional “non-standard areas” — or NSAs — receive individual calculations. Feds traveling in more expensive cities receive higher rates of reimbursements. For example, feds heading to Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area currently receive a lodging per diem of between $167 and $224, depending on the time of year, and a $71 per diem for meals and incidental expenses. San Francisco ranges from $189 to $226 for lodging, while lodging rates for New York City and its boroughs fluctuate between $191 and $303 per day. For fiscal 2015, GSA has renamed the Manhattan NSA “New York City” to more accurately reflect that it no longer sets individual rates for Manhattan and the other four boroughs.

Beginning in fiscal 2015, two more locations will move into the NSA category: Kayenta, Ariz., and San Angelo, Texas. GSA is shifting five locations that were NSA in fiscal 2014 to the standard or CONUS (Continental United States) category for fiscal 2015: Glenwood Springs/Grand Junction, Colo.; Lakeville, Conn.; Chesapeake/Suffolk, Va.; Lake Geneva, Wis.; and Sheridan, Wyo.

The fiscal 2015 per diem rates and other changes take effect Oct. 1, 2014.

GSA establishes per diem rates for lodging, meals and incidental expenses in the continental United States. A standard per diem is applied in locations less commonly traveled by federal workers, while nonstandard areas frequently visited are granted individual rates based on the average daily industry rate.

Federal employees received a slight increase in rates in fiscal 2014 after GSA froze fiscal 2013 travel reimbursement rates for lodging and other related expenses at fiscal 2012 levels. The freeze was part of the Office of Management and Budget’s directive to agencies to reduce all travel spending in fiscal 2013 by 30 percent compared to fiscal 2010.

(Image via Flickr user Jason Kuffer)

Feds Are Feeling More Out of Touch With Their Managers

Feds Are Feeling More Out of Touch With Their Managers

jorgen mcleman/Shutterstock.com

Employee satisfaction with communication from agency leaders has declined steadily in the past four years, the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service reported on Wednesday.

Sixty percent of agencies for which data are available registered a decrease in satisfaction with leadership communication from 2009 to 2013, with the governmentwide index score for satisfaction falling 3.9 points to 50.2 out of 100, according to the group’s new analysis of responses to three questions on the 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

On the question of satisfaction with information from managers about what is going on within agencies, the governmentwide score sunk to 44.8 percent positive. That compares with 60 percent satisfaction rates in the private sector, according to the Hay Group.

The governmentwide score on whether leaders communicate on goals and projects with different agency units dropped from 54.5 in 2009 to 48.2 in 2013, the study found.

Managers rated the highest in the category of communicating the goals and priorities of the organization, with a governmentwide score of 57.5 in 2013, down from 59.7 in 2009.

The top-ranked agencies in communications by leaders for 2013 were NASA, the Intelligence Community and the Treasury Department. The worst communicators were the Homeland Security, Interior and Agriculture departments.

“Lower-levels of employee satisfaction with leadership communication in 2013 go hand in hand with employee satisfaction levels across the board,” the report said. “In order to effectively drive communication, agency leaders must constantly focus on improving and maintaining quality communication, not just engaging in short-lived initiatives.”

As a model, the study cites the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which “established leadership communication as a key agency priority by launching regular initiatives that put employees directly in contact with the agency’s leaders on a regular basis.”

The analysts also recommended multiple communications platforms. At the U.S. Mint, “while the public affairs office leverages electronic communications such as an internal television network and an online question and answer box, it also provides print-outs of online content in common areas to ensure that all employees have access to information from agency leadership.”

(Image via jorgen mcleman / Shutterstock.com)

Continue reading “Feds Are Feeling More Out of Touch With Their Managers”

Is the Federal Civilian Workforce Really Growing? Some Important Context

Congress’s investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), recently released its latest analysis of the executive branch’s civilian government workforce, and it shows a modest increase between 2004 to 2012. However, the GAO’s analysis does not take into account workforce reductions of around 70,000 in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). When the 28,000 full-time equivalent reductions from 2011 to 2012 are included, there has been a contraction of the federal civilian workforce of around 100,000 in the last three years.1 The report also leaves out significant context, which might lead readers to draw somewhat different conclusions about how the federal workforce has changed over time.

While the report makes it clear that only three agencies are responsible for the lion’s share of growth, significant context is missing, namely: longer-term trends suggest a different picture of public-sector growth, and for-profit federal contract employees are not counted in these numbers. In particular, the picture can change significantly when contractors are included. One also has to dive into GAO’s report to discover that most of the modest federal civilian workforce growth occurred between 2007 and 2009 and that numerous government agencies shrunk. Continue reading “Is the Federal Civilian Workforce Really Growing? Some Important Context”