Federal workers falling further behind in pay, council finds

Federal Eye

Federal workers falling further behind in pay, council finds

A federal advisory group reported Tuesday that federal workers have fallen slightly further behind the private sector in pay, a trend that union leaders said they hope will be stopped by getting the government back in the habit of paying annual raises.

The Federal Salary Council, a group of union officials and pay policy experts, said that the average “pay gap” in favor of the private sector now stands at 35.4 percent, up from 34.6 percent last year and 26.3 percent in 2011.

(Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

(Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

The pay gap figure, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, involves employees paid under the largest of the government’s many pay systems, the General Schedule for white-collar employees below the executive level. Pay rates under the GS system are locality-based, varying among 31 metropolitan areas, the entirety of both Alaska and Hawaii, and a catchall “rest of the U.S.” locality for everywhere else apart from foreign countries. Continue reading “Federal workers falling further behind in pay, council finds”

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

J. David Cox, AFGE National President
J. David Cox, AFGE National President AFGE

The budget deal has been struck.

To review, the compromise package to roll back sequestration cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act for two years targets federal employees’ pensions as expected. While current workers were spared, civil servants hired after 2013 would pay 4.4 percent of their annual salaries toward their defined retirement benefit. This marks a 1.3 percent increase from the current contribution requirement for new hires, though any employee hired in or before 2012 pays only 0.8 percent of their salary toward their pension.

Military retirees’ pensions would also take a hit, as the deal requires a less generous annual cost of living adjustment. Overall, the plan takes $12 billion in savings from federal workers. Continue reading “Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes”

Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest

Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest

By Heidi Przybyla and Peter Cook December 05, 2013

Budget Talks Narrow to One Year Deal as Lawmakers ProtestU.S. budget negotiators plan to work this weekend from a shrinking menu of options to ease automatic spending cuts for as little as one year amid objections from some groups and lawmakers, said people familiar with the talks.

A potential compromise being crafted by the two leaders of a 29-member panel is drawing protests from Democrats and also from groups including federal employees, who could contribute more to their pensions under the proposal, and airlines, which could face higher fees. Some Republicans are concerned that a bipartisan deal will replace spending cuts set in law with promises of future savings that might not be realized.

Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray, the lead negotiators, probably won’t find it easier to reach a deal by narrowing the options, said Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

“This has been a negotiation of subtraction,” said Van Hollen, citing Republican opposition to ending corporate tax breaks, a proposal Democrats favor. Continue reading “Budget Talks Target One-Year Deal as Lawmakers Protest”

Md.’s Democratic power players leading push against cuts to federal workers

 

Md.’s Democratic power players leading push against cuts to federal workers

 

The power players in the Maryland congressional delegation are pressuring Democratic leaders to oppose any new cuts affecting federal workers as part of a budget deal.

The lawmakers, who hold prominent spots in both chambers and represent thousands of federal employees, have long argued that those workers have been hit disproportionately amid efforts to cut deficit spending.

In their weekly meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), several ranking members of prominent committees made clear Wednesday that they oppose any new cuts for federal workers.“Federal employees have become the whipping folks whenever there’s a need for money or some kind of offset,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the senior Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a participant in the meeting, said afterward. “I think it’s totally unfair, and I think you would hear that from most of us from Maryland and Virginia.” Continue reading “Md.’s Democratic power players leading push against cuts to federal workers”

Federal employee retirement could be affected as rivals prepare for the battle of the budget

Federal employee retirement could be affected as rivals prepare for the battle of the budget

The Federal DiaryBy , Published: December 4

 

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about the federal workplace that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

Like the warm-up before a big game, both sides in the battle of the budget are getting ready. And federal employees have a lot at stake in the outcome.

The team in red — the Republicans — support cuts to federal retiree benefits as one way to close the gap between Uncle Sam’s spending and his income.

The team in blue — the Democrats — say the federal workforce has already paid enough, over and over again.

So as the Budget Conference Committee, set up to resolve differences in House and Senate spending plans, prepares to resume meeting next week, members of both parties are setting markers letting everyone know what they believe is acceptable and what is not. Continue reading “Federal employee retirement could be affected as rivals prepare for the battle of the budget”