Browsing: Pay & Benefits

Have you just retired? We want to hear from you

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Federal Times reported earlier this week that retirements skyrocketed in February, suggesting that the retirement wave may be regaining steam. Are you one of the 20,374 feds who put in your papers last month? We’d like to talk to you, to find out why you decided to call it a day. Was it because of the sequester and furlough threats? The general bad news from the last couple of years? Or were there other factors at play? E-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com if you’d like to talk.

Furlough fears: We want to hear from you

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Federal Times would like to hear from federal employees about the upcoming furloughs that are looking more and more likely. How will losing 20 percent of your take-home pay — as might happen to most Defense Department employees — hit you and your family? What are you hearing from your managers? What is the threat of sequestration and furloughs doing for your office’s morale and productivity? E-mail Stephen Losey or Sean Reilly with your thoughts. If you’d like to stay anonymous, that’s fine.

Health insurance: What the Postal Service has in mind

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Lest anyone forget, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe remains keenly interested in creating a stand-alone health insurance plan for about 1.1 million U.S. Postal Service employees and retirees. The latest reminder came at last week’s Senate hearing on the USPS’s financial crisis. Although lawmakers’ attention was predictably focused on the agency’s decision to end Saturday mail delivery, Donahoe also stressed the urgency of pulling out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. “An astonishing 20 cents of every revenue dollar the Postal Service takes in must go toward health care costs,” Donahoe said in prepared testimony.  “By moving away from the…

House Rules committee to consider extending pay freeze Wednesday

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The House Rules Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon to consider a bill that would extend the pay freeze through the rest of 2013. HR 273 — sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and 27 other Republican lawmakers — would cancel the 0.5 percent pay raise now scheduled to go into effect at the end of March. And one proposed amendment to the bill — introduced by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Geo. — would go even further, and freeze pay until the end of 2014. That would mean a four-year pay scale freeze for federal employees. Federal employee…

Pentagon's Carter pledges to give up 20 percent of his pay

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If sequestration goes into effect next month, many Defense Department employees are likely to be furloughed one day per week for the rest of the fiscal year — in effect, a 20 percent pay cut. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and other political appointees can’t be furloughed. But according to the Washington Times, Carter told lawmakers today that he is going to give back one-fifth of his salary if Defense civilian employees are furloughed. The Times called it “a show of solidarity.” Federal employees are, of course, not happy about the prospect of mass furloughs, and many observers fear it…

House Dems reintroduce paid parental leave bill

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Five Democratic representatives on Tuesday reintroduced a bill that would guarantee at least four weeks of paid leave for federal employees who become new parents, whether through the birth or adoption of a child. HR 517 — sponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., George Miller, D-Calif., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. — would grant all feds who become parents four weeks of paid parental leave, apart from their stored sick or annual leave. They would then be able to use up to eight additional weeks of sick or annual leave to be…

House votes to extend pay freeze

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The House of Representatives voted today to extend the current pay freeze — which has already lasted two years — through the rest of 2013. The American Federation of Government Employees denounced the bill, proposed by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., as a “cheap political ploy.” Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also blasted the bill and said it has no chance of passing the Senate. But Fitzpatrick said approving a raise at a time when the government is teetering on the edge of the “fiscal cliff” is inappropriate. “At a time when American families are tightening their belts and businesses are reducing…

Obama makes 3-month pay freeze extension official

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President Obama on Friday issued a memo officially freezing federal pay scales for the first three months of 2013. Obama’s freeze — which extends a pay scale freeze that has already stretched for two years — is no surprise. In August, he proposed freezing pay until Congress passes an actual budget and stops funding the government through a series of continuing resolutions, or CRs. One month later, Congress passed a six-month CR that freezes pay and partially funds the government until March 27. The pay freeze memo came a few hours after President Obama granted feds a day off on…

Federal unions plan 'Day of Action' Tuesday to protest cuts

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A coalition of 20 federal unions is encouraging its members to pressure lawmakers Tuesday against cutting their jobs, pay and benefits as part of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. The Federal Workers Alliance — which includes unions such as the National Federation of Federal Employees, International Federation of Technical and Professional Engineers and Professional Aviation and Safety Specialists — wants its members to visit lawmakers in person, call their offices, e-mail them and spread the word via social media that when it comes to federal employee cuts, “Enough is enough.” “Federal workers have already seen $103 billion in…

Boehner pushes COLA cuts in fiscal cliff talks

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Multiple news organizations are reporting that House Speaker John Boehner included the so-called chained Consumer Price Index in his latest proposal to President Obama seeking to avert the fiscal cliff. This would put a big dent in the deficit — perhaps raising more than $290 billion over a decade — but it would hit federal and military retirees right in their pensions. Economists say the chained CPI is a more accurate method of determining inflation that is usually 0.25 to 0.30 percentage points lower than the current method. Adopting it for pensions, Social Security benefits and other indexed portions of…

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