Browsing: pay freeze

Fed salaries still increasing, even through pay freeze


The average federal salary increased nearly $1,000 last year — from $77,505 in fiscal 2011 to $78,467 — according to statistics posted online by the Office of Personnel Management yesterday. How can that be, you ask, when federal pay has been frozen for more than two years now? The increase highlights a point we’ve made several times — that the pay freeze isn’t actually a total pay freeze. It’s a freeze on the pay scales. Within-grade step increases — which bump many feds up to a higher level of pay every one, two or three years — were left untouched…

OPM's Berry: 'We are close to the edge of the cliff'


As we reported yesterday, the members of the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations sounded a red alert Wednesday on the state of the federal government’s recruiting and retention efforts. With the ongoing pay freeze, furloughs, sequester budget cuts and threats to cut benefits, union leaders and administration officials alike fear the federal workforce could crack under the pressure. Longtime feds with decades of experience could throw in the towel and retire, they fear, and talented young up-and-comers could conclude that the federal government isn’t a good place to work and take their skills elsewhere. Office of Personnel Management Director…

House Rules committee to consider extending pay freeze Wednesday


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…

Continuing resolution with pay freeze heads to House floor


The House Rules Committee just approved H J Res 117, the six-month continuing resolution that will keep the government up and running until March 27. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote, which could come as early as tomorrow. The bill also contains a provision — requested by President Obama, and denounced by federal unions — further freezing federal pay until an actual budget is passed. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., testified before the Rules Committee and called the bill “basic and necessary legislation that must be in place before the end of the…

Yet another pay freeze: what do you think?


President Obama’s decision to extend the pay freeze — at least until Congress passes a 2013 budget — has been condemned by labor leaders. Federal Times would like to find out what you think about the prospect of an even longer pay freeze. How will it affect you? Will it make you more likely to retire? What do you think is driving Obama’s decision? Write me at if you’d like to talk. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, that’s fine.

AFGE's new ad opposing pay freeze: 'Explain it to me, GOP'


The American Federation of Government Employees is stepping up its campaign against House Republicans who want to further freeze federal pay to cover the cost of a payroll tax extension. AFGE this weekend will launch a nationwide series of television and print ads titled “Explain It To Me, GOP,” that wonder how cutting federal pay and benefits will help the economy recover. The ad seeks to put a face on federal employees who lawmakers often discuss in general — and sometimes disparaging — terms. It features members of AFGE locals — a Minnesota Veterans Affairs Department nurse, an electronics worker…

AFGE's Gage fears federal pensions are next


John Gage, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, is worried that the proposed two-year federal pay freeze is just the beginning of the bad news for federal employees. In a video AFGE just posted, Gage said he will meet with the administration later this week, and “I’m expecting the other shoe to drop with something about our pensions coming up.” Gage also uses the video to attack everything about the pay freeze, from the figures used to derive the expected savings, to Obama’s negotiating strategy, the assumption that federal employees should bear some of the recession’s burden,…

Federal pay freeze: What do you think?


There’s a lot of strong emotions on display in the comments section of our main article on Obama’s proposed 2-year pay freeze. Sound off there, or in our Federal Times forum here. What do you think — is this a slap at federal workers that will kill productivity and hamstring recruitment and retention efforts? Or is this a tough pill that feds are going to have to swallow to help the nation get through an unprecedented fiscal crisis? Or if you’d like to talk to me in more detail, send me an e-mail at We want to hear from…

Federal pay freeze roundup: "It's Okay, Freeze My Pay"


We’re back! The overwhelming interest in the breaking pay freeze news was a little more than our servers could handle, but all is well now. There’s been an awful lot of reaction to Obama’s announcement in the last few hours, so here goes: AFGE President John Gage reiterated his anger and disappointment in Obama’s decision during a conference call with reporters this afternoon. But while NTEU earlier today pledged to try to fight the freeze in Congress, Gage was less optimistic. “The chances are slim” that the freeze could be overturned, Gage said. But the pay freeze isn’t absolute. Office…

Details on the federal pay freeze — military not included, but Defense civilians are


OMB Deputy Director Jeff Zients just laid out some details on the two-year pay freeze for federal employees in a conference call with reporters: It’s expected to save $2 billion for the rest of FY 2011, and another $3 billion for FY 2012 alone. The White House expects it will save $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. It will apply to all civilian federal employees, including Defense Department civilian employees and anyone under alternative pay plans. That means wage grade, SES, the few remnants still under NSPS, and others…

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