Worrisome signs in latest employee survey

Worrisome signs in latest employee survey

Employee morale slips further

Nov. 17, 2013 – 06:00AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |
Sean Archuleta MWM 20130716
Katherine Archuleta, OPM’s newly installed director, pressed HR executives for ideas on how to ‘do more with less.’ (Mike Morones / Staff)

Sequester-related budget cuts. Hiring restrictions. A continuing freeze on pay rates.

For the federal workforce, those forces combined to produce sharp drops in key job satisfaction indicators, according to the latest soundings by the Office of Personnel Management.

Most worrisome to managers, perhaps, was a decline in the area of mission accomplishment: Of almost 377,000 respondents, well under half said they have the people, funding and other resources needed to do their jobs. That was down sharply from both last year and 2010.

“That’s a big one,” Justin Johnson, OPM’s deputy chief of staff, told dozens of senior human capital executives at a meeting last week. “We’ve got to figure out how to use our limited sources as efficiently as possible to mitigate that.”

Continue reading “Worrisome signs in latest employee survey”

Back Pay Is On the Way

Back Pay Is On the Way

Abel Tumik/Shutterstock.com

The government shutdown is over and payroll is back up and running. By the end of this week, most of the federal workforce will have received retroactive pay for the 16-day shutdown.

In fact, thousands of federal employees already have received back pay to make whole the partial paycheck they got during the shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16. The Interior Business Center, run by the Interior Department, handles payroll for 42 government agencies and 240,000 federal employees. IBC deposited back pay on Tuesday to employees directly affected by the shutdown — a week before their regularly scheduled paycheck on Oct. 29, according to a Federal Times report. Perhaps this makes up for IBC’s data entry error last month that delayed the paychecks of 40,000 employees. IBC is the payroll provider for agencies including Interior, NASA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Continue reading “Back Pay Is On the Way”

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”

Feds Could Recover Some Furlough Days, OPM Says

Feds Could Recover Some Furlough Days, OPM Says

Ersler Dmitry/Shutterstock.com

Federal employees can convert extra furlough days into additional paid vacation in the event an agency cancels or draws back required unpaid leave, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management.

This situation could arise if a federal worker is given flexibility in when to take his furlough days. If a worker chooses to take all the furlough days up front — and the need to take furloughs is later canceled or the number of necessary furlough days is reduced — the worker can use the days he took off as annual leave, OPM said. Continue reading “Feds Could Recover Some Furlough Days, OPM Says”