New Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry’s announcement last week that the Obama administration wants all federal employees to be paid based on how well they perform doesn’t exactly haveÂ federal unions doing cartwheels. The American Federation of Government Employees said pay for performance can’tÂ work in the government, and saidÂ that the General Schedule is enough to reward hard workers. The National Treasury Employees Union, on the other hand, said it wouldÂ wait and see what Berry comes up with.
And the National Federation of Federal Employees just weighed in on the issue this morning. Though President Rick Brown said he felt better about the issue after talking with Berry last Friday and praised his “good-faith” approach to reform, he also had a warning: Don’t simply warm over leftover proposals from the Bush administration.
Director Berry assured me that this is not an attempt to repackage what we feel are ill-conceived Bush-era pay schemes. . . . [W]e do not expect to see proposals that even closely resemble the so-called pay for performance plans put forward under the previous administration. Everyone agrees that more needs to be done to reward high performers, and we are eager to explore these ideas with the administration.
What do you think? Can pay for performance work in a federal office? Why, or why not? What have your experiences been with such systems?