Paying the Price: Feds Increasingly Unhappy With Salaries

Paying the Price: Feds Increasingly Unhappy With Salaries



Despite an unprecedented three-year pay freeze, a majority of federal employees are still at least somewhat satisfied with their pay. That percentage of employees who feel that way, however, is plummeting.

In 2010 — the last year feds received an across-the-board raise — 66 percent of federal workers provided a positive response when asked, “Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your pay?” according to the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. In the 2013 report, which the Office of Personnel Management released last week, just 54 percent of respondents said the same.

Continue reading “Paying the Price: Feds Increasingly Unhappy With Salaries”

In Focus: How Many Employees Face Furloughs?

In Focus: How Many Employees Face Furloughs?

Federal agencies decide which employees to furlough and which to keep on the job during a government shutdown. Excepted employees include workers “who are performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property or performing certain other types of excepted work,” according to furlough guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. In other words, they aren’t furloughed. Employees who are not funded through annual appropriations are “exempt” from unpaid leave if the government shuts down.

How many employees an agency furloughs during a government shutdown varies, and tends to depend on mission. In some departments, like Veterans Affairs, most of the workforce stays on the job. At the Housing and Urban Development Department, however, the opposite is true: most employees are furloughed.

If the government closes on Tuesday because of a lapse in appropriations, roughly 800,000 civilian employees will go on unpaid leave. Here’s a snapshot of a few agencies and their workforce data from 2011, the last time agencies had to prepare contingency plans for a possible shutdown. The list of agencies and corresponding data are not comprehensive.


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Agencies Post Shutdown Plans Online

Agencies Post Shutdown Plans Online

Agencies on Friday began posting their contingency plans online to prepare for a possible government shutdown on Tuesday, Oct. 1. If the government closes, approximately 800,000 federal civilian employees could be furloughed. Those placed on unpaid leave will receive official furlough notices on Oct. 1, if necessary.

We’re compiling a list of agency shutdown guidance as it’s posted. We’ll continue to update this information over the next few days as agencies publish their plans. The Office of Management and Budget also will link to agencies’ guidance on its website. Click here to read the 2011 contingency plans that agencies prepared the last time the government nearly shut down.

Click here to read furlough guidance from the Office of Personnel Management.

The following agencies have posted 2013 contingency plans (click on the agency name to view the plan):

Defense Department

Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Labor Relations Authority

Housing and Urban Development Department

Interior Department

Justice Department

Peace Corps

Smithsonian Institution

Treasury Department

OPM offering 300 buyouts

OPM offering 300 buyouts

By Josh Hicks, Published: June 7, 2013 at 8:58 amE-mail the writer

The Office of Personnel Management plans to offer 300 buyouts to employees across 14 of its divisions, according to an agency official.

People walk past the EPA building on May 24, the first day of furloughs for the agency. (Mark Wilson/Getty).

People walk past the EPA building on May 24, the first day of furloughs for the agency. (Mark Wilson/Getty).

(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

OPM will limit the number of buyouts for individual divisions to “avoid an unmanageable number of departures and diminished work capacity,” according to the OPM official, who spoke anonymously to discuss details of a plan the agency has not yet publicly announced.

The agency’s 2014 budget plan calls for a $2.2-million reduction in salaries and expenses. For 2013, the agency is set to spend about $91 million on such costs, roughly on par with the previous year. Continue reading “OPM offering 300 buyouts”

OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

This story has been updated.

The Office of Personnel Management is offering buyouts and early retirement packages to hundreds of employees across the agency, according to a memorandum from Acting Director Elaine Kaplan.

OPM received approval to offer 299 buyouts and early outs to employees and will send individual emails to eligible workers on June 17, said Kaplan in the May 31 memo, obtained by Government Executive. OPM is using its flexibility to address a tight budget, Kaplan said, but the voluntary employee departures could have other consequences. The agency is offering 17 buyouts to employees in its retirement services division, the office responsible for processing retirement applications and clearing up the current backlog. The 17 buyouts are “limited to non-supervisory employees who are eligible for optional/regular retirement,” according to agency documents.

There are 955 employees in OPM’s retirement services division. Continue reading “OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog”

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