More feds may receive early back pay Thursday

More feds may receive early back pay Thursday

Employees of the Internal Revenue Service and Customs and Border Protection may receive back pay for the recent shutdown period as early as Thursday, according to the agencies and their payroll processors.

A US Border Patrol agent stands near a crossing to Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images).

A US Border Patrol agent stands near a crossing to Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images).

Monday is the next regularly scheduled pay date for both organizations, but some agencies are trying to rush funds to their workers after they went without checks during the 16-day government closure. Continue reading “More feds may receive early back pay Thursday”

Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts

Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts

By SAM HANANEL 03/08/13 03:04 PM ET EST

 2013 Furloughs

WASHINGTON — First there was a two-year pay freeze. Now furloughs loom, as federal agencies make personnel costs a prime target for across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect last week. The result: anxiety and low morale in a workforce often envied for its job security.

“It would certainly put a strain on things,” said Jonathan Schweizer, 61, an environmental engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago who could be forced to take up to 13 days of unpaid leave this year. “I’d probably have to run up some credit card debt or defer maintenance on my home that I’d otherwise consider important.” Continue reading “Furloughs Vary Widely At Government Agencies Amid Sequestration Cuts”

FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration: A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees

FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration:
A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees

Copyright © FEDweek LLC 2013

1. Why are federal employee furloughs being threatened?

The origins go back to mid-2011 when political leaders were faced with the need to raise the federal debt ceiling. As part of a law raising the limit, deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion over 10 years was ordered. However, special bipartisan committee on that issue disbanded late in 2011 when it reached its deadline without reaching an agreement. Under the debt ceiling law, that meant automatic cuts called “sequestration” would begin with calendar year 2013, also spread out over a decade, to achieve the same amount of deficit reduction.
Many “mandatory” spending programs are exempt, including payments from federal retirement, Social Security and other benefits programs, as well as some “discretionary” programs.

However, even where a program is shielded, the administrative expenses to operate it —
including the funds to pay federal employees working in it — are subject to sequestration.
A law enacted just as those cuts averaging about 10 percent were set to hit in early January 2013 delayed the sequester until March 1 by ordering certain savings and revenues elsewhere, but inthe meantime leaders could not reach an agreement either on a long-term way to replace the sequester or on another delay. Continue reading “FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration: A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees”

Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs

Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs

Erin Scott/NTEU

Federal employee unions and agencies are starting to negotiate the details of expected furloughs if sequestration takes effect on Friday.

The head of the National Treasury Employees Union said on Tuesday she expects to schedule a meeting next week with the Customs and Border Protection agency to begin bargaining over the specifics of possible employee furloughs. Continue reading “Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs”

Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester

Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester

GAO head Gene Dodaro
GAO head Gene Dodaro Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sequestration will not bring furloughs at every agency, as some leaders have said they can reduce their budgets in other areas to avoid requiring employees to take unpaid leave.

The Small Business Administration will rely on an anticipated reduction in a certain type of loan to cut costs, should sequestration go into effect March 1, according to an Associated Press report. Outgoing Administrator Karen Mills said fewer 504 loans — which spiked last year due to a now-expired provision allowing them to be used to refinance mortgages — will account for most of the cuts, and furloughs will not be necessary. Continue reading “Some Agencies Won’t Need Furloughs Under Sequester”