Monthly Archives: May, 2010

FLRA denies bid for TSA union election

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The Chicago regional director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority today denied the American Federation of Government Employees’ bid for an election to determine which union will represent Transportation Security Administration employees. The regional FLRA upheld its previous determination that because TSA screeners do not have collective bargaining rights, it has no jurisdiction to process the petition for an election. AFGE said it will appeal to the full FLRA within 60 days. AFGE and the National Treasury Employees Union are each seeking to represent roughly 40,000 TSA screeners. NTEU has filed a similar petition with FLRA.

"A company of heroes"

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Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, but take some time in between cookouts to remember our nation’s veterans, both of past wars and of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for those of you in the Washington area, there’s no shortage of great events this weekend: The Rolling Thunder motorcycle run technically begins this Sunday at noon at the Pentagon’s north parking lot. But there also will be motorcycles streaming up 395 to get to the staging area for hours beforehand, and I’ve had fun watching them from the Arlington bridges that span the highway. Veterans from all over…

Senate wants plan on NSPS conversions

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The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to know in detail how the Pentagon plans to convert about 226,000 employees from the National Security Personnel System back to the General Schedule or other pay system. The request for an action plan on conversions is part of the Senate 2011 Defense Authorization Act, which the committee finished marking up today. The bill also: Clarifies that the repeal of NSPS has no effect on the direct hiring authority of defense laboratories, and increases the number of positions for which that authority can be used, Temporarily authorizes overtime pay for Navy civilian employees working…

Cantor seeks to attach pay freeze to Defense spending bill

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House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s office tells me that they’re hoping to attach a proposal to cut out next year’s federal pay raise to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, possibly today. Cantor, R-Va., plans to use the so-called “motion to recommit” — a House rule which gives the minority party one last chance to amend a bill — to force a vote on the issue. If a pay freeze is attached to something as big and crucial as the Defense authorization bill, that could make it tough to extricate. There’s a lot that could happen — it could get stripped out…

Senate votes down federal pay freeze

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The Senate just voted 53-45 to table an amendment that would have frozen federal employees’ raises, bonuses and salary increases for one year. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to break ranks and vote to kill the measure, which was sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. But six Democrats — Evan Bayh of Indiana, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, and John Tester of Montana — voted to continue debating the amendment. Of course, that’s not necessarily the same thing as voting for…

Limbo FAIL: Census worker snaps off parking gate arm

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Omaha police on May 2 cited a Census specialist for a “failed attempt at public limbo,” which may be the five saddest words I’ve ever read. News station KETV reports that 26-year-old Elliott Bottorf was taking a stroll when he saw a parking gate arm. So he did what comes naturally: try to limbo under it. Unfortunately, Bottorf’s balance wasn’t quite up to snuff and he couldn’t make it. As he fell, he grabbed the $397 arm and it snapped off. He was technically cited for criminal mischief, and not for crimes against the future Olympic sport of limbo. We kid…

Fed Times on the air: Intel pay and the politics of raises

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Shameless self-promotion time: I’ll be on News Channel 8’s Federal News Tonight program this evening at 7:30 to talk about a few controversial issues we’ve been covering lately. I’ll first talk about Federal Times’ exclusive look at an upcoming report on problems with the intelligence community’s pay-for-performance system. And then we’ll discuss the growing controversy about federal pay raises and the Republican push to cut them to help balance the budget.

NARFE: Don't make feds the 'whipping boy' in deficit debate

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Margaret Baptiste, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, just put out a statement urging senators to oppose a spending bill amendment that would freeze federal salaries. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., want to cover the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan war spending by eliminating expenses such as federal civilian raises and bonuses. Their proposal — as well as a House bill also targeting the 2011 raise — would not affect military service members. Baptiste said: We believe it is wrong to single out federal workers for cuts that others serving our country are not…

McCain, Coburn: Freeze feds' salaries to pay for wars

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Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., today filed amendments to the Iraq and Afghanistan war supplemental spending bills that seek to offset its costs by cutting spending elsewhere — and feds aren’t going to like what they’ve got in mind. McCain and Coburn want to save about $2.6 billion by freezing federal employees’ raises, bonuses and other salary increases for one year. This comes on the heels of their House counterparts’ move to put federal raises on the chopping block as part of their YouCut program. They also seek to eliminate non-essential government travel ($10 billion over 10…

GOP's YouCut targets federal pay raises

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The House GOP’s YouCut program this week seeks to put next year’s proposed 1.4 percent civilian raise on the chopping block. And so far, it’s the top choice to be cut — House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said today that 40 percent of the nearly 218,000 votes cast so far this week were in favor of eliminating the 2011 raise. (People must really want to keep those mohair subsidies.) YouCut combines the democratic ideals of American Idol with the excitement of a Heritage Foundation seminar. Each week, Republicans propose five programs to be cut, and then let people vote online or via…

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