SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1

SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1

By Jeff Bratko, Steward AFGE Local 704

You’ve probably heard the word “sequestration” used by the news media during the last few months.  Some people refer to it as being part of the “fiscal cliff” that may occur in January 2013.  There is a lot we do not know about how sequestration will be implemented.  Unfortunately, management is handling sequestration the way it handled the furlough threat a couple of years ago. It does not appear that specific plans for dealing with the sequestration are being shared with employees.  That means that you are on your own in terms of planning for the sequestration.  Waiting to make plans for the sequestration until management provides us with some facts may be a costly mistake.  However, in order to make plans you need some basic facts and that is what this fact sheet provides.

What is sequestration? Continue reading “SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1”

An Upside to the Pay Freeze

An Upside to the Pay Freeze

It’s safe to say the two-year federal pay freeze has not been popular with government workers. Even those who support the freeze acknowledge its limitations: the savings it has generated (estimates are between $60 billion and $70 billion) is a drop in the deficit-reduction bucket, and it’s not exactly a morale booster. The GOP policy platform, which calls for overhauling the federal pay system to bring it in line with the private sector’s, and Obama’s decision to postpone a 0.5 percent pay boost 2013 until Congress passes a budget, has put the issue in the crosshairs once again.

But there could be an upside to the pay freeze for feds. It puts a slight chink in the argument that federal employees are way overpaid compared to private sector workers — a debate that rages on both sides and probably will never be settled definitively. The libertarian Cato Institute, the Washington think tank that has argued federal employees are too generously compensated compared to their private sector counterparts, acknowledged in a recent blog post that the “federal pay advantage” has narrowed, partly as a result of the two-year pay freeze. Continue reading “An Upside to the Pay Freeze”

Fast Rise Built With Discipline

August 29, 2012

Fast Rise Built With Discipline

By and

WASHINGTON — In the early 1990s, Tortilla Coast, a popular Capitol Hill watering hole, was staffed by ambitious young men and women flinging Tex-Mex and margaritas at patrons whose jobs in the nearby House and Senate office buildings they not so secretly coveted.

One of those waiters, a tall, dark-haired Midwesterner named Paul Ryan, stood out to his boss and co-workers. He was the guy who always showed up for work on time, wore neatly pressed khakis and chatted about economic policy as he floated along in a kayak at an after-work party. While the other twentysomethings pounded beers after work, Mr. Ryan was known to stick to just a few.

“I think even then he probably had an eye toward his future,” said Scott Johnson, a waiter back then who was looking for work in the Clinton administration. Continue reading “Fast Rise Built With Discipline”

Arizona House primary results: Ben Quayle booted from Congress

Arizona House primary results: Ben Quayle booted from Congress

Congressional District 6 candidate Rep. David Schweikert, R-Arizona, hugs his wife Joyce in reaction to early election results from his campaign headquarters on Tuesday. | AP Photothe David Schweikert jumped to an early lead inRepublican House race. | AP Photo

By MIKE ZAPLER and ALEX ISENSTADT | 8/29/12 12:17 AM EDT

Freshman Rep. Ben Quayle lost Tuesday night to fellow first-term Rep. David Schweikert in a fierce member vs. member GOP primary in Arizona, a stinging defeat after Quayle’s years-long struggle to shed his image as the privileged scion of political royalty.

With four-fifths of precincts reporting, Schweikert was leading Quayle, 53 percent to 47 percent and the Associated Press called the race. Redistricting thrust the two incumbents into battle for a Scottsdale-area seat. Continue reading “Arizona House primary results: Ben Quayle booted from Congress”