Hey, Federal Workers, These Bills Could Affect Your Job

Feds need raises. Feds don’t need bonuses. And are there too many Feds overall? Congress is awash in bills to change federal employee pay and benefits, one way or the other.

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Feds need raises.

Feds don’t need bonuses.

And are there too many Feds overall?

Congress is awash in bills to change federal employee pay and benefits, one way or the other. Here is a look at three recent proposals:

Upping Feds’ Pay (Pace)
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hi., are proposing a bill, known as the Federal Adjustment of Income Rate (FAIR) Act, which will help Feds “keep pace with the private sector and boost morale” through a 3.8 percent pay raise.

The last time federal employees received a pay raise above 3 percent was in 2009, when Feds got a 3.9 percent pay raise, notes Andy Medici at Federal Times. William Dougan, the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said the legislation would make up for five years of pay freezes and small raises.

“In the last five years, federal employees have lost a significant amount of buying power due to pay adjustments failing to keep up with basic inflation,” Dougan told Federal Times.

Private sector wages have outpaced federal pay by 6.3 percent over the last five years, according to the Department of Labor’s Employment Cost Index.

Federal employee groups have criticized the one percent pay bump for the last two years, calling it insufficient and even “pitiful,” according to Eric Katz at Government Executive.

The legislation will be co-sponsored by Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-MD; Elijah Cummings, D-MD; Chris Van Hollen, D-MD; Stephen Lynch, D-MA; and Donald Beyer, D-VA.

Revoke those bonuses
The VA paid more than $380,000 in bonuses to executives at 38 hospitals that are under investigation for falsifying wait times for medical care in 2013, according to  Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Under a new bill, the VA secretary would issue an order for an employee to pay back part or all of a bonus if deemed a “failed employee,” according to Miller’s news release. The employee would have a chance for a hearing before a final decision, according to Jacqueline Klimas at the Washington Times.

The new legislation would allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to withdraw a bonus from an employee, according to Miller.

“I believe the ability to recoup a bonus based on bad or manipulated performance data is a tool the secretary needs and that the American public would expect,” Miller said at a hearing, according to theWashington Times.

10 Percent of Feds in Jeopardy?
Reps. Cynthia Lummis, R-WY, and Mick Mulvaney, R-SC, introduced legislation last week – known as the Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act (H.R. 417) – that would limit new federal hires to one employee for every three that retire or leave service, saving a previously estimated $35 billion over five years without forcing any current federal employees out of a job, according to Ian Smith atFedSmith.

“We’ve racked up over $18 trillion in debt simply because Washington has no idea when to stop spending,” Lummis said in a statement.

The ultimate objective: Force agencies to slash the entire workforce by 10 percent by Sept. 30, 2016 and hold the government to its new size from that point forward. Postal workers would be exempt. A hiring freeze would be imposed on any agency that failed to make the required cuts, writes Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner.
Want to weigh in? Post a comment below or email me at adoggett@300brand.com.

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