Will Feds Get a Pay Raise in 2014?

Comments from many FedSmith.com readers express frustration with their pay. That is certainly understandable. Federal employees last received an overall pay increase in 2010.  Add to that the fact that furloughs have impacted pay of some federal employees and there are a lot of people working for Uncle Sam who are not happy with their pay situation.

The House has just approved a 1.8 percent pay raise for military personnel in the fiscal 2014 Defense spending bill. This action will give federal civilians some optimism as the concept of “pay parity” with the military has often come up and has frequently been successful in past years. As we have noted in earlier articles on this website, the House Department of Defense spending bill also includes language halting civilian furloughs in the next fiscal year if sequestration continues.

Despite the freeze on the annual pay, federal employees are still eligible to receive within-grade increases or promotions and, in fact, there has been an increase in the annual federal employee salary despite the pay freeze. (See Average Federal Salary Goes Up Despite Pay Freeze)

So, will there be an overall pay increase for the federal government’s civilian workers in 2014?

There are many financial and political hurdles that have to be overcome between the Obama Administration and the House of Representatives. The administration wants to increase spending, not cut it. The House wants to cut spending—not increase it. Add to this the political debate over the debt ceiling that is rapidly approaching and throw into the mix the concern shared by all elected officials about the outcome of the 2014 national elections and there are plenty of opportunities for both parties to advance their agendas. The federal pay raise is little more than a pawn in this political game but the decisions that occur in the political process will impact your personal financial prospects for 2014.

But, while anything can happen, the odds do not favor of a significant pay increase or any increase at all.

The spending bills that have been passed by the House so far are silent on the issue of a pay raise in 2014. The Senate panel also did not address a federal pay raise in its fiscal 2014 Financial Services and General Government spending bill that was recently approved. There is little enthusiasm for a pay increase within Congress for the federal workforce. Note this language in a recent committee report:  “Should the president provide a civilian pay raise for fiscal year 2014, it is assumed that the cost of such a pay raise will be absorbed within existing appropriations for fiscal year 2014.”

In his 2014 budget proposal, President Obama proposed a 1% pay raise for 2014. In the absence of action by Congress, the president has authority to raise federal employee pay based on the Employment Cost Index and he may have that option this year. But the sense of Congress appears to be that if the president wants a raise for the federal workforce, the cost of that raise will have to come from overall 2014 appropriations for agencies.

If Congress does not act and if the president does decide to implement a 1% pay raise, there will not be many expressions of joy among the workforce. Here’s why.

In addition to the continuing pay freeze, changes to the amount paid by new federal employees toward retirement, and furloughs for some federal employees, additional  furloughs are also possible in the next fiscal year if Congress keeps sequestration in place. (See, for example, Two Significant Changes to FERS) Note also that the president’s budget proposal recommended increasing retirement contributions of federal workers hired prior to 2013 by 1.2% over three years starting in 2014. The budget proposal also proposes eliminating the FERS Annuity Supplement for new employees. (See President’s Budget Proposes Increased Retirement Contributions for Federal Workers)

And, while a number of federal employees have had a pay raise because of having received a promotion or a within grade increase (WIG), most have not. Those that have not received any increase are undoubtedly feeling financial pressure as inflation is increasing the cost of many basic expenses that everyone has to pay.

The federal pay structure is largely determined by politics. There are attempts to make the process look and feel like a scientific system is in place. In reality, it is not scientific. Federal government spending has skyrocketed in the past few years and the federal debt is at historic levels. The political atmosphere in Washington, DC is rancorous—probably worse than it has been in modern times. There are two strongly held ideologies that are competing for dominance in the political arena and they are on display in the press on a regular basis.

It is unlikely there will be a political resolution that is remotely satisfying to these two points of view on the role of government. Allegations about actions by the Internal Revenue Service in the last election, the publicity about lavish spending on conferences and travel in federal agencies, and a general public sentiment that has little or no confidence in government doing a good job (See articles such as Trust in Government and 62% Think Government Should Cut Spending to Help Economy), all contribute to a lack of faith and trust in government. There is not a significant public demand to raise federal employee salaries.

My guess is that the number of retirements from federal service will continue to increase despite the staid economic growth because, as the baby boomers survey the current environment, many will decide they will be better off with taking their retirement annuity and hoping for a raise when the next cost of living increases are distributed. For those who are not eligible to retire, or who cannot take the probable cut in pay they will receive after retirement, they will content themselves with having a secure job and decent benefits at a time when unemployment is still high and we are setting records for the number of people leaving the workforce and entering federal welfare or payment programs.

We will keep readers informed of any changes on the pay raise issue. Our advice: Hope for the best and plan your budget as if there will not be any raise in 2014. For those so inclined, and especially those who live in an area with a large federal workforce, contact your Congressional representatives to express your views and your concerns.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. KINGCHARLESMOM says:

    No I do not think this president and administration will give their government employees raises unless it is a measly one. This president and his administration are thoughtless and greedy. And, most (not all…just a chosen few) government employees had to do without a raise for 4 years when everything has gone up. The last year they were given a measly 1 percent raise. On top of that the president chose to cancel the freeze on Social Security taxes on everyone’s pay. Therefore, all household incomes were less due to that action. Bad timing but I am sure he needed that money for the expensive ACA.

  2. KINGCHARLESMOM says:

    And, the economy is not better. Our house is worth less than what we paid for it 6 years ago. There are a ton of businesses closing and not all small. Therefore, there a lot of people out of jobs around here. People are cutting back (not eating out as much not shopping as much etc). Most all of us are paying more for healthcare or paying for it when never wanted it because we are all forced by our present government to have it. Not just here where we live but my family and friends living throughout the US are struggling too. My family and our friends are spread out all over the US and they are all smart enough to know the economy is not better as they keep saying it is in the news. And, why is this sequester the president signed into law punishing people who want to go to work & pay their obligations when it is the president and his administration that cannot do their jobs? There should be a sequester to put a freeze on their raises and they should go without pay until they can do their jobs and come up with a balanced budget in a timely manner. They need to leave their govt employees who want to work to pay their obligations alone! And pay them all back pay once the budget was balanced. The money is there to pay the govt employees this is not why the president signed the sequester into law to be able to furlough his govt employees. He did it because he doesn’t know what he is doing and cannot get his employees in White House to work together. He does not have leadership skills. To me his action should be a crime. I feel he misused his power for a reason other than he told everyone. Again, I feel he owes all govt employees back pay for their hardship although it is too late for some. He has put many out of their homes at a time they probably already had one foot out the door anyway. How does that help the economy? The president just took his foot & kicked them while they were down. Or maybe let me and some other people that know how to create a budget on a limited income for households get the US budget balanced. These guys in the White House just do not know what it means to really work and do their jobs. They are constantly fighting amongst themselves because they are all about a political agenda. That is all the White House is about. Didn’t we all hire them to work for us. Well they are not doing that and we should have a law in place that allows us to not have to wait until the next election to penalize them for not doing their jobs.

  3. KINGCHARLESMOM says:

    These days we have a president & administration that wants to cut the DOD completely. It is obvious they do not believe our freedom in the US is worth fighting for. What they believe in is their political agenda to be able to be in White House again in 2016 and that is it. It is obvious to me this president and his administration do not have a clue. All they wanted to do is force everyone on a single payer healthcare and use our tax money for that and investing in so called bogus groups and companies to change the climate. Yet no other country cares about doing their part in changing the world’s climate. It is unbelievable how when I type this how stupid all these people are and how they trust that most American’s believe they know what they are talking about. This giving weapons to Iraqis again when it did not work the first time is ludicrous & trusting the Saudis will be doing their part in this is ridiculous. These weapons will just get in the hands of ISIL & ISIS again and help them get even stronger. What has changed to make us think it isn’t going to happen again. Nothing that is what. These Muslims in that part of the world have been fighting each other for decades. None of them are trusting people…they all have an agenda….and they all hate each other, the US and everyone else. I am sure these young men & women coward murderers calling themselves ISIL and ISIS are laughing their heads off while cutting everyone else’s heads off. They will continue to kidnap and start recruiting hopeless kids from the US, Canada, Britain and wherever to use them on the frontlines to do their dirty work. This administration keeps making the same mistakes. It really makes no sense to keep supplying ISIL & ISIS with weapons. Excellent strategy by this president & his administration that is for sure. We should not be fighting these coward murderers until we can go in and annihilate them. This doesn’t do our military any good they just die for no reason again. And our country is just looked upon as weak and helpless and broke. Good grief lots of money down the toilet again. Honestly, this president & his administration are losers with a capitol ‘L’ in my opinion.

  4. Just_One_AmVet says:

    Total BS.

  5. Barbara Thomas says:

    Most federal employees after step 4 level will have to wait 2 years before they see anymore money. So if you make 44,000 at Gs 7/4 you must wait 2 years before you can get to 45,000. but you cost of living like healthcare continues to go up every year, FEHB healthcare coverage go up in. In the last three years my healthcare has went from 58.00 to 121.00 just for self. It is easy to blame the president, but it is congress who make law. Make your vote count, President Obama will be gone, but that do nothing congress will still be there. No matter who gets into office, that congress will be there. This some of the same congress that allow Bush to start to wars and put them on a credit card…and wait to blame the next guy because he hasn’t fixed it.. It can be fix it’s to far gone.

  6. GroUpFolks says:

    Within grade increases? What increases? Mr. Oblama cut those out in 2013. Update yourselves folks. By the way, a working government? Check your history. There has been a “working” government in decades. Try again!! This is the worst President in history. This comes from the unbiased experts and they come from other countries. Good for the ’72 Dolphins. Thanks for showing Mr. Oblama what the rest of are saying!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. KeepingItReal says:

    Guess they won’t be happy until we don’t have a working government – pathetic bunch of clueless, brainwashed people –

  8. 6 yrs active duty, now Reserve says:

    The argument that we (Federal employees) still get a “raise” because of within-grade step increases is complete BS. The military will still get a 1.8% raise, AND each member will get an additional bump in pay every two years for longevity of service. Not saying the military doesn’t deserve it, but don’t try and pacify us with within-grade increaes.

  9. Phineas Silence says:

    If as many or more people are applying for federal jobs today than in the past there is no reason for a pay raise. Supply and demand, just like everybody else.

  10. DV says:

    You know I work for a private corporation – I have a contract – I have COLA’s, insurance, vacation and a salary – frankly there are federal worker who do the same kind of job – I would have to take a pay cut of about 20% to take a federal job and …. if my salary was cut or COLA taken away for other than a disciplinary action – I have the right to sue – so exactly what do Federal employee unions do ? It looks to me like the employees are paying for the mismanagement of the higher ups – in my world you fire the problem.

  11. Steve Neal says:

    This was a rather lengthy description of several possibilities regarding any federal raise at all. Could have just said: “NOPE!”.
    I remain hopeful that we eventually get back all our years of ZERO-percent raises in the next ten years or so, but for now every increase they’ll try to give us has to come out of some other pile of already obligated money. So, when all is right with the US economy and our gov’t is back within budget constraints (balanced budget and paying back our national debt) Our Gov’t sector leaders and congress will agree to compound all those missing 1.6% annual raises and we’ll graciously accept our double-digit pay increase.
    LOL! Fat Chance…

  12. FedupFed says:

    Welcome to Obamanation! Obama’s plan is to morally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt America. He has been doing a great job in wrecking America as we once knew it. 2016 can’t come quick enough!

  13. Keeg says:

    Pay raises? Ain’t gonna happen. More furlough days and RIFs are predicted.

    • Rainy098 says:

      That is what I am hearing from HUD. We can expect even more furlough days next year, and also RIF’s.

    • Brooklyn says:

      I agree. This is Congress’ sneaky way for extending the ‘No Pay raises’ that they initially wanted for
      5 years Plan. Instead they are dragging it out little-by-little so as not to cause a mass run on Retirements and even worst Interns quitting for better pay in the Wall Street & Business World. It’s now going on 3 years without a pay raise, while Utilities, Food, Taxes, Fuel, Health Care & Medical Expenses, etc. are all going up. Congress punishes us by withholding our pay while Rewarding Foreign Governments with our tax money and sending our jobs overseas. This is bad.

    • Rambo1957 says:

      I think it will Keeg. 2014 mid terms on the horizon. Democrats want to send a message to ALL the union faithful that they (cough) care.

  14. whitelight56 says:

    People will quit or retire if they have an option.

    • Rainy098 says:

      In my agency, everyone who can retire, has. Others are just waiting until the earliest opportunity. I don’t know how many we have lost, but estimate 10%. We lost so much knowledge, it’s risky.

    • Rambo1957 says:

      Quit? And go where?

      • Steve Neal says:

        Everyone has some skill-set they can tap into. Almost any outfit that will pay me what I get now will do… My loyalty is to my God, family, and nation (in that order). So when my pay slips against cost-of-living and inflation every year, and furloughs take another 10% or 20%, that cuts into our church support and my household costs. Gotta move on or just continue to suffer…

        • Rambo1957 says:

          But in many areas, there are few opportunities especially when you combine pay AND benefits. Kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  15. HLL7575 says:

    With increasing retirements from boomers, Uncle Sam is facing a severe brain drain. It has already happened at my agency, which is in disarray while the front office tries to maintain a sense of business as usual still. I expect many bad things to blow up in the next few years, when Congress will be pointing fingers at overeaching and incompetent government, while we all know too well it’s the Congress who choked the system while protecting special interests in defense and finance.

    • wombat1951 says:

      A 1% across the board pay raise will do NOTHING to stem the tide. The “brain drain” has many causes, but lack of small annual raises is not one of them.

      • Rambo1957 says:

        Other state and local employees have also endured furloughs and no raises (see NY as an example). Untold numbers out of work. Outside of fellow Feds, where will the sympathy come from?

    • Brooklyn says:

      My God, you said a mouthful. Be careful what Congress wishes for….because we are gonna get it! And so are the American people. As of now, It doesn’t look good for the future.

    • uniteuniteunite says:

      Dead on. The brain drain is here where I work & oh is it real. Anybody who can get out is getting out, Those of us who are actually experienced, who can’t retire or leave due to age discrimination in the public sector as well as lack of jobs there, are working harder & harder every day just to tread water. So, yes, it is inevitable that something will eventually slip through a crack. Will the real culprits take responsibility? No way! Congress will again blame us then write another bill aimed at punishing us for their ineptitude.

  16. good_reader1 says:

    Students at the Veterans Hospital have stated they will not join civil service since they are controlled by congress and these pay freezes have told them to go elsewhere for employment.
    So the best of the best being trained at VA Hospitals will go into private health care. When will Congress see the damage they are doing, or is it the plan to get more employees in corporations rather than secure civil service positions.

    • wombat1951 says:

      It is not credible to think that the lack of the small % pay raises each year is the determining factor for “the best of the best” to avoid Federal employment over private sector employment.

      Frankly — if remuneration is the goal — the “best of the best” will usually choose the private sector.

    • mandinka says:

      It has all to do with the lousy care given Vets not the pay

  17. Lee_Lucas says:

    Suffice it to say that there will always be unemployment, a budget deficit, a national debt, less fortunate, etc. I think there will always be an excuse why not to allow the law to work to provide administrative pay adjustments. Frankly, its disgusting.

    • wombat1951 says:

      A comment that ignores the basic reality that rates and levels of unemployment, debt, and other things can be either manageable or unmanageable. Responsible folks carry manageable debt — mortgages, car payments, credit card balances that their income can afford. Irresponsible folks take on too much debt for their finances to handle — like Detroit. The Federal government is approaching critical mass WRT debt load and unfunded liabilities. Until this trend reverses and become more “manageable”, there is no fiscal justification to spend more money on raises to a workforce that is still very well paid & compensated. Frankly, it’s disgusting that some people think they deserve “administrative pay raises” in such a fiscal environment.

      • Lee_Lucas says:

        No argument. But the Federal government has done NOTHING to stem any of this other than inflict this political cheapshot against those that had nothing to do with the Federal govt’s financial woes. You simply cheer this scapegoating knowing full well that since 2009, the Federal govt has continued to spend more than it takes in.

        So what is your point, pointless?

        • wombat1951 says:

          You are correct — the Federal government has done very little to address the problem of woefully under performing economy. The reasons are rooted in the disparate ideologies of the two major political parties, and are food for discussion elsewhere.

          And I won’t argue that Federal employees are, at the least, caught in the crossfire. The collateral damage being done to hundreds of thousands of good folk by the stupid sequester is a much better example than the “pay freeze”.

          But at the same time, it is just NOT defensible that in this fiscal environment it is right to continue to pass out across the board pay raises that are not affordable.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            But they are not pay raises. They are administrative pay adjustments prescribed under law when a set of facts yields their result. Yes, they must be passed nonetheless, but none of the reasons you give for not letting the pay adjustments go forward are in law. So they fall victim to petty arguments that have no relationship to the good fiscal standing of the govt.

          • wombat1951 says:

            And YOU fail to justify why these “administrative pay adjustments” — otherwise known as across the board pay raises — should be made.

            Perhaps the arguments are petty to you — but they are not to many. Government is supported by taxes paid. Taxes come from income. Income is directly related to the health of an economy to generate it and be taxed. We are currently in a situation where the economy is not doing very well. At the same time, government is already borrowing over 40% of what it is spending.

            Your job is to make a case that we need to borrow more money to pay the raises you are demanding. You fail to do so!

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            My point is if the public doesn’t like administrative pay adjustments (in seemingly bad or good times), change the law. When folks can make up excuses for not floowing law, you have anarchy.

            Finally, the staying of administrative pay adjustments does little to the Federal bottom line – but it inflicts great harm on the Federal workforce. Perhaps I could go along with them if I saw any causal relationship between Federal fiscal health and the failure to follow Federal law.

          • wombat1951 says:

            The law does not REQUIRE annual raises. The law you are citing is about the formula to use in calculating any pay adjustment IF AND WHEN Congress decides to do one.

            You have either refused or been unable to make an economic case for ending the pay freeze right now. Your arguments have been emotional and then faux legal.

            And you wonder why many in the public have a poor attitude toward Federal workers.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            No, I don’t wonder that at all when folks like you are hell bent on making ludicrous statements that bear no resemblance to fact or regulation.

          • wombat1951 says:

            Good morning! Now that you’ve had a weekend to do some research, perhaps you could tell us all what Federal Law mandates that Federal employee must get an across the board pay adjustment every year?

            There is no such law, but you seem to disagree. You pointed to the law that outlines how any such raise should be calculated — if there is one. But since a law has to be passed every year to do a raise, your claim that doing a raise every year is already a law sounds like you haven’t done your research.

            Prove me wrong Lee! I’ll gladly retract my previous statements about there not being such a law if you can point to the statute that REQUIRES an annual pay adjustment for Federal employees.

          • Ditch_Digger says:

            wombat 1951 here is your answer:

            The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides staff support for the Federal Salary Council and Presidents Pay Agent. OPM also provides leadership on pay systems for civilian Federal employees. We accomplish this by developing and maintaining Governmentwide regulations and policies on authorities such as General Schedule locality pay, the Federal Wage System, special rates, and pay for employees in Nonforeign areas. Ultimately, each Federal agency is responsible for complying with the law and regulations and following OPM’s policies and guidance to administer pay policies and programs for its own employees

          • mandinka says:

            eliminating feds premium pay will save the treasury $100B a year

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            Your last comment here illustrates well that you have absolutely no idea what it is you are talking about.

          • Rainy098 says:

            The last comment, and the one before that, and the one before that, and …..

          • Jake McDougall says:

            You like many others have no clue what you are even talking about! What premium pay are you referring to? The only time I see any type of “premium” pay is when I am on a fire assignment where we get overtime for work over the standard eight hour a day. Other than that, I received a $1000 performance based cash award three years ago. There are some slugs out there on the federal payroll but the majority work our tails off each and every day. My collegues and I often donate time to complete critical project work because there is no overtime other than for fighting fire.

          • mandinka says:

            The difference in what Feds receive in pay VS the taxpayers for the same level of work

          • Jake McDougall says:

            I actually make about $15 K less than the civilian that does the same type of work. You should do some actuall research.

          • $31427826 says:

            Eliminating your posts would save time, money and a lot of goodwill

          • A Guest says:

            Not to mention real discussions and exchanges of ideas from folks positing on the blog. Not made up crap and off-the-wall percentages and outdated bunk from decades ago by way over-the-hill manny-dinka, brother man.

        • mandinka says:

          HUH?? the avg fed makes $130,000 a year and just eliminating the premium pay will save the taxpayers $100B a year

          • Bob says:

            Feds would LOVE it if the average pay were $130,000 but it is not, nor should it be that much. OPM web site probably has the real numbers. One might also want to look at the pay rate in the DC metro area, and everywhere else. Pay rates are highly inflated in the DC metro area for some positions like management assistant, etc.

          • HRGuy71 says:

            one article did look at the DC pay figures and the average federal salary in general. Using the OPM figures, the average salary in DC is about $102,000–not counting benefits. http://www.fedsmith.com/2013/0

            The average total compensation package for federal employees is about $127,000 or so, including those in DC

          • mandinka says:

            another low information Fed. Trust me the union news isn’t any where near the truth

          • A Guest says:

            That rich….coming from a daily well established “non-truth teller”.

          • Jake McDougall says:

            That is such a crock! Where are you pulling your statical data from? There are some federal executives, doctors and lawyers that might be pulling pulling down that kind of pay but the average federal employee. That would be GS15 level pay. Most of us where I work are GS 5,7 and 9 with a few 11 here and there.

          • mandinka says:

            Your not seriously trying to contend that the avg fed doesn’t make $130,000K a year are you??? 12 independent outside groups across the political spectrum have looked at federal pay and they have all came to that number

          • Pat Fucile says:

            Then provide links to all these independent groups proving your allegation.

          • Jake McDougall says:

            It is easy to skew the data when you are anti-goverment and want to mislead the sheeple. The actual average is closer $75 K.

    • mandinka says:

      because Feds have done nothing to deserve one.

      • Jake McDougall says:

        I beg to differ! The folks in my unit are expected to do the same level of work today with five personnel that we accomplished with ten personnel a decade ago. Doing more with less is common across many federal agencies.

        • mandinka says:

          Nonsense feds today work no more than 20 hours a week. Try putting in 40 and see what happens

          • Jake McDougall says:

            I average over 40 hours a week and have been doing so for the last sixteen years.

          • $31427826 says:

            Jake, mandinka is a blow-hard, who is anti-fed, lie spewing hate monger. Best thing to do is to ignore him.

  18. HR Manager (Retired) says:

    Most of the comments prove my point – employees will complain among each other, criticize each other BUT will do little if anything do present their cases to those who are screwing them. Oh well, if that is what you want then that is what you want.

    • mandinka says:

      and their justification would be what?? We want an attendance raise??

      • HR Manager (Retired) says:

        If you don’t know the benefits of letting the people you elect know how you feel about how their actions affect you its too late for you.

        • mandinka says:

          How you FEEL… The folks that pay your wages have already spoken that feds are over paid and under worked

  19. Bob says:

    The military receives a pay raise every single year. It has been 3 years since the civilians have received a pay raise. To be honest, I do not care if both receive a modest raise or not, but, I think the military and civilians should be the same. I can go on and on about military TriCare, benefits, pay raises compared to the private sector over the last 2 decades, but I will pass on this opportunity today.

    • HR Manager (Retired) says:

      Finally someone who makes sense about the inequity between how civilian employees and military member are treated when it comes to pay.

      • mandinka says:

        There is no inequality…the military earn their raises fed do not

        • $31427826 says:

          REally, all I see at the military bases is people sitting around doing nothing

        • HR Manager (Retired) says:

          From reading your comments, this one and others, the logical, or lack of it, you express reminds me of a former contributor to this column who sign in as the College Professor. His comments, like your’s, were so far out of wack that people eventually just started ignoring him. Maybe you’re the next College Professor.

    • Lee_Lucas says:

      Feds should not have to demonize military in order to get an administrative pay adjustment that is prescribed by formula in law. The outrage is Feds being used as a pawn by these politicians all while the country continues to spiral to into the fiscal abyss.

      • WORLDBFREE says:

        For all of you complaining about military benefits …Well you should have served 20 years or more in the military. There is a big difference between being a fed civilian and being active duty period.

        • Fed up says:

          Not where I work! The civilians do the work in the hot work bays , while the military sit in air conditioned offices in front of computers or on thier smart phones.

      • wombat1951 says:

        The formula is in law, but the pay raise is not. In fact, every general pay raise only happens when a new law is passed making it happen.

        You are correct that Federal employees are a pawn in a larger “game”. You are also right that the country continues to spiral into a fiscal abyss. Handing out “administrative pay raises” that the country can’t afford is irresponsible.

        • Lee_Lucas says:

          If the staying of law and not “handing out raises” as you suggest were being used to stem Federal debt, we might believe your baloney. But evidence is to the contrary. In fact, it has done nothing but be squandered. In fact, one year it was used as an excuse to fund the reduction in employee SSA.

          Save your speech for mobs intent on beating up on the Federal workforce. You seem to be most popular with them.

          Bully.

          • wombat1951 says:

            Well…..first of all, not a penny of Federal debt can be paid off until and unless annual deficits go away. But that annual deficit will be added to by whatever the amount of the raise is. Simple math. The baseline is what it is, and if it is added to by a raise, it is added to.

            I’m not beating up on the Federal workforce. But neither am I reflexively claiming that Feds have some sort of moral “right” to an automatic pay raise every year “just because” that’s what always took place.

            It needs to be justified on both economic and practical terms. In my opinion it is not at this time, precisely because the economy is not getting better fast enough to support it.

            If “the mobs” have an impression that Federal employees need to be “beaten up”, perhaps those prejudices are reinforced by attitudes about pay reflective in several posts right here about how unfair it is that Feds aren’t getting their raises — even as millions of those who pay the taxes that fund the government are struggling to find a job at all.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            Well, my contention is that the politicians of both parties like all too much the mobs focusing their attention on the Federal employees and not them. You seem to be one who bought this distraction for the last 4 years even though these meanignful sacrifices by Feds appear to have been squandered – much like the rest of taxes – taxes that Federal employees pay too.

          • wombat1951 says:

            You have a great point!

            But your argument seems to be — given that the mess is not Feds fault and given that those whose fault it is aren’t doing a lot to fix it — why, then Federal employees should still be given the annual pay raises they have come to expect!

            And yes — Federal employees pay taxes too! What’s your point? That they are paying themselves? Not how it works.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            Because it is law.

          • wombat1951 says:

            The law you are citing does NOT require annual pay raises. It is a law that — when and if a pay raise is being considered — says that a certain formula should be used.

            Of course, this is always ignored and always has been ignored.

            But it is NOT a law mandating a raise every year. Please educate yourself.

          • A Guest says:

            But Feds are paying the price for the mistakes that Congress put into Law. And now blame Feds for following thru on Congress & Senate policies while giving breaks to big businesses who send jobs overseas. Countries around the world have their hands out too. Take care of HOME first.

          • mandinka says:

            Until feds are held accountable and have to EARN a raise pay should be frozen for another 20 years

          • Jake McDougall says:

            How would measure how a federal employee would then “earn” a pay raise? I achieve superior performance ratings on my annual performance appraisal. Therefore I deserve the measly pay raise that are offered which is barely meets the annual jump in inflation.

          • mandinka says:

            Except there is no Objective standard to measure your performance its all PAP

          • Pat Fucile says:

            Your comment is a bald faced lie. Each performance rating will a list if items that are being rated for the job performance review, and what a person has to do to meet each level of performance.

          • A Guest says:

            And YOUR retirement checks should be frozen for the next 50 years, but will you live that long is the question. Sounds unreasonable huh? So if your dumb idea.

  20. wombat1951 says:

    Data from the BLS show that, from 2001 to 2010, federal employees quit their jobs at less than half the rate of workers in large private-sector companies. In other words, the attrition rate in Federal employment is still very low. This is not surprising, since Federal employment is, by any measure, a very good deal. The pay is very good; the benefits are very very good; and the job security is about as good as it gets.

    Have Federal employees experienced pay disappointments in the last few years? Yes they have…welcome to the real world! While Federal employees have missed out on the virtually automatic pay raises every year, they still got promotions, step increases, bonuses, and the same benefits. All while having a job that was as secure as they come. Tens of millions of their fellow citizens, on the other hand, have lost their jobs or have had to settle for lesser paying jobs and part time jobs as a result of first the real estate bubble recession and then the last four years of a lousy “recovery”.

    Are the furloughs fair? Not at all! But sequester is what Obama wanted. He was [and probably still is] hoping that lots of Feds will show up on TV complaining about them so that he can blame his own idea on the GOP. He even rejected offers for fiscal flexibility to move money around within cost centers and programs so that furloughs would not be necessary or at least very much minimized.

    In this context, the very thought of another baseline pay raise to the Federal workforce is just wrong. Is it needed to stop the rush to the exits by employees? Nope…attrition rates are still very low. Is Federal pay grossly too low? Not hardly, as the both the average and median salaries will attest.

    There should not be any increases to the GS pay schedules until and unless unemployment falls to more acceptable levels. Pick a target: maybe use the 6.5% figure that Bernanke has floated as his target for what it has to be before he abandons his artificial low interest rate policy. Hold off on any raises until that happens, which would be a real world indication that the private sector — which, after all, supplies the public sector with the taxes that pay Fed salaries — has recovered sufficient to afford to pay Federal employees more overall.

    • freedomlover says:

      There are some fed jobs that there is no training for in colleges. Such as Social Security Claims Representatives. It takes 3 years before they are fully functional. Do you want a high turnover in such jobs?

    • Lee_Lucas says:

      So to use your logic, we continue to freeze pay until everyone is fed up or quits?

      • wombat1951 says:

        Nope. Using my logic, refrain from passing out raises until the economy recovers sufficiently to afford them. I suggested it be tied to the same metric Bernanke is using for keeping interest rates artificially low — 6.5% unemployment rate.

        • Lee_Lucas says:

          Then they should write it into law and pass it – then follow it.

          I doubt you will, however. Folks like you like to make things up as they go along.

          • wombat1951 says:

            It would acceptable, in my opinion, for Congress to pass a law that states that annual across the board pay raises can only be done if and when the national unemployment rate is 6.5% or less. I believe that this metric is a reasonable milestone to indicate overall health of the economy that, after all, supports ALL government operations with its tax dollars.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            What does it matter, however. The politicians and folks like you continue to demonize those that have nothing to do with the current state. The metric, as you name it, makes no correlated logical sense between the nation’s unemployed to those gainfully employed. Why single out government workers who are not compensated as a means of charity, but rather compensated at wages based on their duties and performance of the same.

            No, you merely want to try to lay the groundwork for a connection to justify what you and your ilk have accomplished so far. But there is no justification for it.

          • wombat1951 says:

            “What does it matter, however.”

            That you Hillary? 🙂

            I challenge you to show where I am demonizing anyone!

            The burden is on you to prove that Federal employees are underpaid and under compensated and thus are deserving of an across the board pay hike even during economic times that make this difficult.

            You fail to do so. You and “your ilk” 🙂

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            Really? The challenge is on me to prove Feds are underpaid? How about not falling administrative pay adjustment law for 4 years. The accumulative effect of that is seriously calculable.

          • wombat1951 says:

            Here is where you go off the rails. The “pay adjustment law” is NOT a law requiring a pay adjustment every year. Rather, it is a law outlining HOW such a pay adjustment should be calculated IF AND WHEN Congress decides to grant a raise.

            The issue is this: Federal employees are not getting their annual “pay adjustment” raises now. Haven’t for several years. There is no law saying that this must occur. Congress has to pass a law each year to do so. They are supposed to use the “pay adjustment law” to calculate it. They ignore it every time.

            You want your annual raises returned. The reasons for not doing them mostly relate to the state of the economy and the Federal fiscal mess. Congress has concluded the last few years — Dems and GOP — that raises aren’t justified in the current situation.

            You fail to make an economic case for your raises. You attempt to say that the “pay adjustment law” requires a raise — but this is not true.

            So make your case based on economic realities, rather than emotion. Perhaps you can.

          • Lee_Lucas says:

            Again, you have an interesting way of looking at the formula. My point is, if you want the formula changed, change it. Don’t decide not to follow it just because you don’t like the result.

          • HRGuy71 says:

            As Howard Risher noted in the article at http://www.fedsmith.com/2012/0…, the federal pay agent has no credibility and, essentially, wasting time doing what it does to come up with the alleged pay gap. There are pay gaps going in both directions. The pay agent is seen as a political tool to increase wages for the federal workforce and essentially ignored by Congress and the public.

          • wombat1951 says:

            You mean a legal perspective? Frankly, I think taking that position as I am is the correct one.

            You still don’t get it do you? There is no law REQUIRING an annual pay raise. There is no law “not to follow”.

            Your inability to craft an economic case for restarting the annual raises right now is revealing.

      • mandinka says:

        No until the avg taxpayers earns the same as the avg fed

        • $31427826 says:

          How dare you compare the avg taxpayer to the avg fed

          • mandinka says:

            Your right I’m tarnishing the work and effort put out by the taxpayers comparing them to a fed

          • Pat Fucile says:

            The average fed knows the difference between your and you’re. You’re the average taxpayer, and you don’t know the difference. I’d say you’re tarnishing the average taxpayer. Uneducated (that fits you Mr GED) and puerile.

        • Nope says:

          Except the average federal government employee is much more educated than the average american, so you would have them being paid below the average salary of a person have a similar educational background. That’s not at all logical.

        • Jake McDougall says:

          So you think the Walmart cashier or the janitor as our local high school janitor should make what the “average” federal employee makes? I do not think so! My pay and benefits are much lower than my civilian counterpart doing the same type of engineering work. I have an associates and a bachelors degree. I earn my $58 K annual salary!

          • mandinka says:

            they should make what the avg Fed janitor makes and the cashier should make what a WG 10 makes per hour

    • good_reader1 says:

      Quit or retired are two different animals. I see folks retired every month since they have achieved the high three. More folks are fed up with Congress and their do nothing but still are paid, lets take away their salary since they are not working 5 days a week.

      • wombat1951 says:

        Attrition rates include both quit and retired.

        If folks are fed up with Congress, you’d think they’d replace them. While Congress overall has always had very low approval ratings, incumbent Congress Critters almost never lose elections. Ergo — while you or I might not like Congress in general, we seem to like the Congress Critter who represents us. So most folks are NOT “fed up” with Congress when it comes to actual voting.

    • Robert Benson says:

      Excellent! Actions really do speak louder than words, and wombat1951 is right. Employees – whether grumbling or not grumbling – are not rushing to the exits.

    • TheTruth says:

      So you cherry pick data from before the pay freeze (2001 to 2010), and that is relevant to the pay freeze how?

    • mis12cuerdas says:

      You make very thought provoking comments – after 29 years of FED employment, and with my agency operating with a level budget for the last 12 years (+/-), I would rather have an additional staff person in my office than a pay raise any time. When i overspend, i have either cut my current expenses or found part time employment. The same applies to not getting a federal pay raise… I will need to cut something out of my budget or find a part time job (which is also a good break from the daily grindstone, but a bit tougher in a foreign country) , so it will probably be entertainment and our travel to visit my children – I work/live on the other side of the world. We all need to help the federal government get out of this economic situation, so in essence we need to quit complaining and do our part – now — regardless as to why we are in this mess – it is here and we best quit complaining so much about our pay raises. Unless we ALL start realizing this and helping instead of complaining there will not be much left for federal jobs/services for the future! Cheers!

      • wombat1951 says:

        Appreciate your comments, and your service in another part of the world.

        It is always hard to accept being on the receiving end of actions [or inactions] intended to mitigate overall fiscal problems. This whole pay raise topic is a perfect example of an issue that a very large % of Federal employees feel like “why us?”

        But the bottom line is simple — the Federal government is borrowing over 40% of what it is spending. It is spending too much. Spending needs to be reduced. At a time when the private sector is still hurting, it is simply not right that taxpayers be dinged for a pay raise for a workforce that is still being well paid; well compensated with benefits; and have jobs for which it is almost impossible to be fired from.

  21. mandinka says:

    The real question should be what have they done to deserve a raise?? The days of attendance raises has to end and the only criteria has to be performance P4P is the new rule of the day

    • Devsfan says:

      Except they are moving in the exact opposite direction. With the removal of yearly performance awards they have just removed any incentive to do more than the bare minimum. Not that the awards were even much to celebrate unless you were an SES.

      • mandinka says:

        The taxpayers would be ecstatic if feds just did the minimum that would be a welcome change

        • Devsfan says:

          We all get it. You are an angry person. Show me where the bad fed touched you. I mean you come off like an angry lover, give it a rest. Your contempt for the 2 million federal civ employees is disgusting. You can’t honestly believe that everyone who works in gov just sits around all day waiting to collect a paycheck so cut the bs. Most I have worked with at the very least give all they can. Are there a few bad eggs? Yeah, but you can’t show me workplace with more than 10 people that doesn’t have one. Personally if I had my choice I’d fire about 2-3% of the people at my site of over 500. Not because they milk the system but because they haven’t adjusted to the times. Most of these are older employees who don’t know how to use the tools at their disposal. They are stuck doing everything the old fashioned (slow) way. Even these people though aren’t taking advantage of the system, they just haven’t adjusted to new technology. Of about 550 people I’d say I’ve seen about 3 who are scum and should be fired because they are only looking out for themselves and relish doing just enough. The rest give it their all every day even if there are better ways. They aren’t sitting back purposely wasting time.

          • mandinka says:

            I’ve had many dealings with the IRS SS VA and DOD as well as consulting with many agencies. In no case have I ever been in a fed enclave where putting in 40 hours of work was even close to the norm. What is the norm people sleeping at their desks, smoke breaks, video games surfing the web social media and porn

          • Pat Fucile says:

            I think the only agency you’ve worked at is BS. Federal agency’s IT departments block porn and social media websites. And I’m willing to bet they all remove the video games that come in the standard computer packages from the machines.

          • mandinka says:

            Guess you don’t have a newspaper where you live

          • Pat Fucile says:

            That’s an inane come back. What does a newspaper have to do with IT departments blocking porn and social media websites?

    • $31427826 says:

      Mandinka, you are always spouting off hatred and misinformation, lies and pure bull. You complain about feds working only 20 hours per week but from your posting here, you cannot work more than 8 hours a week.

  22. Common Man says:

    How come Congress gets automatic increases and can vote themselves a raise whenever they feel like it? Why can’t the people they represent decide whether they deserve all the extra benefits and perks, raises, etc. The majority of the senators and congressmen are millionaires and are quite eager to cut the legs out of Federal emoyees.

    • mandinka says:

      THey haven’t had any raises in over 4 years

    • wombat1951 says:

      If they are “automatic” why would they have to vote themselves a raise?

      FYI — Congress has subjected themselves to the same pay freeze as imposed on the Federal workforce.

  23. HR Manager (Retired) says:

    Hope civilians remember this come election time – not only did you take a pay cut but now it looks like no COLA. Yet, the military keeps getting increases – guess it is not enough that Captains now earn over $100K and Generals make well over $200K. Remember you will keep getting stepped on if you just complain among yourselves and don’t show up in mass at your rep’s town hall meetings. There are groups of retirees and businessmen/women in your area willing to help you but you must first show a willingness to make an effort to end what is happening to you.

    • wombat1951 says:

      Would have thought an HR Manager (Retired) would know that there is no such thing as a COLA for Federal employees pay. Adjustments to the GS schedule are always legislated.

      Speaking of “stepped on” — an average of a third of all Federal employees get a “step” increase every year that averages about 3%. Those step increase have continued, as have promotions, throughout the pay freeze as the article pointed out.

      As to the furloughs === everyone should remember that this was Obama’s idea. It was the only way he would agree to any slowdown in spending during the last debt ceiling fracas. And it was Obama who insisted on having half of it hit the DoD even though Defense is only about 30% of Federal civilian employees.

      Unemployment is still way too high and the economy way too sluggish. Federal employees are still very well paid and compensated, and have jobs from which it is almost impossible to be fired. Until the private sector gets better, why should it be taxed more to pay Federal employees more than they are now?

      PS — furloughs next year would not be necessary if Obama would agree to fiscal flexibility within agency cost and program accounts so that money can be moved from lower priority spending to cover pay. But Obama rejected that offer from Congress last February, and appears to be uninterested in it now. He still wants Feds to hurt so that their pain can be used on the nightly news to beat up Congress.

      • mandinka says:

        Thanks for your comments. It’s tiring reading the drivel spouted by people who work 20 hours a week. And think that the taxpayers OWE them

        • SurrenderTheoFascist says:

          You know, speaking of drivel, I have observed your way too frequent posts (mostly unsupported calumnies about Federal employees). Do you do anything but hurl mudballs at federal employees. I’ll hand it to you that you appear to know the fundamentals of Federal workplace rules and retirement pretty well. Yet, what makes what you do for a living so special that you get to put down 2.5 million people en masse without a shred of support? My guess is that you are a bitter and disappointed former Federal employee (perhaps riffed, otherwise involuntarily separated, or left and are now regretting it given the downturn in the economy). Provide one data point that suggests that most full-time Federal employees only work 20 hours a week. That, of course, is a crap statistic, as is a good deal of the other information you purvey and fold into your empty corrections and trollish bombast.

          • fatbak6441 says:

            From earlier comments mandinka is a contractor.

          • SurrenderTheoFascist says:

            The could explain a good deal.

          • A Guest says:

            But it doesn’t mean he is truthful about being one… ‘a contractor’. It’s a different day and just another version of one of his many fairy-tales .

          • gmanqa says:

            mandinka is not a contractor and has never been a federal employee. He is retired military, and may have worked briefly for Ford. I have researched his background. That’s all I will say. He’s a bitter (for some reason) former military member. That’s all.

          • mandinka says:

            1 data point. That’s easy when I did some consulting work for federal agencies 1 of my 1st requirements was an IT report that codified the amount of time each terminal was surfing the web social media or playing games. In EVERY case the most that a fed worked was 20 hours..that was the MOST

          • A Guest says:

            Show proof of which agencies you “consulted for”? With all the lies you have posted on the blog, why would anyone believe your story now? You are NOT CREDIBLE.

          • Pat Fucile says:

            You in IT? With a GED? I doubt that.

          • A Guest says:

            LOL…that’s funny! : ) I can’t imagine him “codifying” any computer either.

          • SurrenderTheoFascist says:

            Well, that’s clearly an assertion that can be checked and extrapolated to the Federal workforce writ large.

          • mis12cuerdas says:

            that is very interesting… you’re assuming that the entire federal workforce would spend 100% of their time in front of a computer – wow! there are a lot of agencies mine included that perform a lot of their work in the field, so not sure how you can keep making comments regarding the all inclusive federal workforce. you sound a lot like another poster that used to surf the net under another name, and I have not seen that name/post in a while. Not sure what has made you so bitter – but I sure feel sorry for you and those around you — there are some negative comments in posts in this blog which is okay, but wow, yours are virulent ~ what’s up with that?

      • $31427826 says:

        Wombat, there are several flaws with your arguments. First, you are assuming that the first 3 steps of each GS level are proportional, which they are not sense many feds have been here a long time and have moved beyond step 3. Also many people are hired beyond step 3 and many are promoted to the next grade beyond step 2 or 3. Yes unemployment is still higher than we would like, but you are lumping all of the unemployed and under employed people with people/companies that are doing quite well, and there are a number of people out there that are doing well. In order to keep and attract a good work force, you cannot keep dumping on them the way the Republican House is. Enough is enough. They, the Republicans, would have feds paying 13% in retirement contributions for an extremely modest pension.

        • wombat1951 says:

          As I understand it, steps are every year up to Step 4; every other year to Step 7; and every 3rd year to Step 10, at which point no more Step increases. For any employee under Step 10, no more than 3 years will pass before a Step increase. This is why, on average, over a third of all Federal employees get a Step increase every year. This average includes those at the top of the ladder who don’t get anymore.

          Well of course lots of folks are doing well!!! But overall, the economy is not doing well enough such that automatic non performance based across the board raises for a workforce already well paid and compensated and secure in their jobs should be renewed.

          And get real — Democrats are as callous as Republicans. For example, the sequester which is affecting hundreds of thousands of Feds is how the Democrats wanted to address the spending problem. GOP went along with it only because it was the only way the Dems would even think about spending a little less money. The GOP offered Obama the power to move money around within cost centers and programs to help agencies avoid sequester, but Obama rejected the offer.

          • OldRet says:

            There are folks that are riffed into lower grades and are at step 10 or even over step 10 with save pay (as I was at one point) with no increases other than what is decided each year unless they receive a small bonus. For those above step 10 they only get about 60% of the raise, if there is one, and no step increases.

          • wombat1951 says:

            Not sure what your point is regarding how any of what you are saying pertains to the issue of whether or not an across the board pay hike is warranted during these economically challenging times.

          • mandinka says:

            And ???? your already at the top of the grade why should you be paid any more??

          • OldRet says:

            I didn’t need it buy people in lower grades certainly could use it, especially single parents trying to raise children. There is this thing called inflation that eats away at your earnings you know!

          • $31427826 says:

            Because they allow you to post on here and they had to deal with you while employed by the federal government. We should be getting combat pay plus premium pay.

          • $31427826 says:

            Your comment was 1/3 of feds get a raise every year. The math to confirm that is pretty complicated simultaneous algebraic equation, given many people hired skip steps 1 to 3 and many promoted from step6 to 10 would bypass steps 1 and 2, and even step 3.

            What everyone fails to consider is the folks in the professional positions at the upper end of the scale are the most underpaid unlike those at the lower grades. To continue a freeze after 3 years with increased retirement contributions looming and more sequesters, it will be easy to see how many people will either retire or leave altogether. Yes you are right, both parties are to blame including the sequester deal. The Republicans refused to sign any tax increases so there was a stalemate.

      • True American says:

        How about you live on GS 4 pay for five years and give up any other income you have to charity and come back and tell us how you think your overpaid? Bet we see you in bankruptcy court.. Federal workers are taxpayers which you fail to mention, we work and don’t collect welfare benefits and our name is not Snowden, we probably as taxpayers pay some sort of benefit or money to you. It’s ok to steal from us as long as you get a cut. It’s called socialism for conservatives.They take our pay and benefits and give it to you and you are the one overpaid. How about I keep my check and you get nothing, The people that take the time to complain about federal workers are the laziest and biggest complainers on their own job. If you got the time to complain about people you don’t even know, then you don’t have enough to do and your boss needs to give you more work.

        • wombat1951 says:

          Where in my post did I say anyone was “overpaid”?

          Steal from you? Who do you think pays for your pay and benefits in the first place?

          Y

      • mis12cuerdas says:

        There are a number of jobs in the federal government that still get COLA’s – there are 2 definitions for COLA’s – cost of living adjustments and cost of living allowance — the allowance is included in several states, but in 2009 it was changed due to a lawsuit — the feds changed the allowance to a locality pay basis – but there is still some COLA been included in those salaries — I moved last year from Alaska to the south Pacific, and i was getting a COLA of about 7% in AK— it used to be 25% when I 1st moved there, but it did not count toward the retirement high 3 and was not taxed – with the law change the COLA for the most part became locality pay which is included now in your high 3 computations and it is taxed now— but there is still some COLA been paid – this is the case in many foreign posts and some cities/states/territories. I do agree with you that we receive a good compensation package — I have a college degree and 2 years of graduate studies, and I started as a GS-3 and I am now a GS 12 after almost 30 years —- It is tough for a family to be able to make it at the lower pay scales, so I can understand how a long term pay freeze would affect them – in particular since insurance premiums keep going up, but I was able to make it at the lower pay scales and always supplemented my income with part time work when I needed to — so it can be done if it is needed… There is nothing that we can do about the pay freeze, and I think we will be lucky to have jobs period… unless we do something about our present economic catastrophe we will be witnessing unless things change, including freezing federal pay.

        • wombat1951 says:

          Another informative post.

          You must have gotten your degree after you started work, which is commendable. Most agencies I’m aware of will hire college grads at GS 7 or 9 [obviously, the job you are being hired into was scoped for a person with a degree — and obviously there is a lot of variability depending on the agency, the job, the credentials needed for the job, etc].

          One thing about Federal government compensation is that it is extremely visible and quite stable. By that I mean that anyone going to work for the Feds knows in advance what the pay scales are; what the benefits are; how pensions and health care works; how annual leave and sick leave work; and what the opportunities are for advancement. There are no real surprises about how it all works.

          I can imagine some of the places you might be posted to 🙂 Some that come to mind are great….others not so much! It takes a special type of person to do the PCS thing over and over again. I’ve know many folks who NEVER wanted to come home!

    • Rambo1957 says:

      The ten federal agencies with the highest average annual pay per employee as of September 2010 are:

      AgencyTotal StaffAverage
      Annual Pay
      Northern Border Regional Commission1$165,300
      Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation10$164,143
      Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board24$147,812
      Securities and Exchange Commission3,917$147,475
      Federal Housing Finance Agency453$146,021
      National Council on Disability21$138,709
      Commodity Futures Trading Commission699$137,253
      Arctic Research Commission8$134,249
      Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board104$132,954
      Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission7$128,857

      • Just a Cog says:

        So having focused on 5200 federal employees, are you suggesting that they are emblematic of the remaining 2 million federal employees?

        PS – The SEC folks could easily make 2x that # in the private sector (and they do, which is why SEC has special permission to pay higher rates… otherwise they wouldn’t have anyone working there with over 3 years of experience)

    • mandinka says:

      HUH???? your in HR and don’t know that only retirees receive a COLA…looks like you made the case for RIF your position.
      You left off that the avg Fed makes $130,000 a year with zero accountability and a pension paid entirely by the taxpayers

      • Pat Fucile says:

        Provide a link showing that feds make 130K a year. The pension plan for FERS employees is NOT paid entirely by taxpayers since FERS retirement incorporates three things.

        • HRGuy71 says:

          The average total federal employee compensation package is worth about $127,000 per year. That figure is probably higher now as the data compiled by BEA reflected pay and benefits as of 2010.

          http://www.fedsmith.com/2012/0

          • Pat Fucile says:

            He’s not stating it’s total compensation. I think he’s talking just wages. If he is, your link is useless.

          • HRGuy71 says:

            I have seen numerous posts by the same individual using a couple of different names and using the same statistics. I am sure he knows it is total compensation. But, like many who do not like the average salary figure for federal employees and disparage the mathematical facts in various ways, he uses the higher figure to make his point more dramatic and to get a rise out of many others on the site.

          • Pat Fucile says:

            Well, the average does distort it. But I wouldn’t give the him too much credit for what he knows.

            The analysis is based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and crudely done by dividing total compensation (salary and benefits) by the number of current federal civilian employees. Comparing such averages is quite misleading, for two reasons:

            First, BEA says the figure is inflated by including compensation that is actually paid to benefit retirees, not just for current workers. The figure is at least several thousand dollars too high, by our calculations.

            Second, the average federal civilian worker is better educated, more experienced and more likely to have management or professional responsibilities than the average private worker.

            Officially, the Office of Personnel Management says federal civilian workers on average are paid 24 percent less than private workers — a figure based on surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and often cited by unions and their Democratic allies. But this is misleading, too. The BLS surveys don’t include the cost of benefits — which both sides agree are more generous for federal workers. Experts also say there are other flaws in OPM’s methodology that prevent a true apples-to-apples comparison.

          • mandinka says:

            No OPM has never said that fed make less than 24% they have stated in every article since 2009 that Feds make SIGNIFICANTLY more.
            The BLS surveys do count benefits its just that few in the private sector receive any where near what Feds get. The surveys are mailed to small or medium companies so the fringe and pay they do get are over stated

          • Pat Fucile says:

            LOL well then tell that to these websites who say OPM has said that:

            http://www.factcheck.org/2010/

            and

            http://www.cbo.gov/publication

          • mandinka says:

            Of course its Total compensation. The taxpayers get the bill and have to pay it. They use the EXACT same data for what the avg taxpayer earns

          • Pat Fucile says:

            Then your formula is still wrong.

          • mandinka says:

            HUH???? even when you are provided a source you still are too bull headed to understand

          • Pat Fucile says:

            And if you can read, look down because I provided a source and reason why it was wrong. Of course, I’ve provided this all to you numerous times and you are too bullheaded to understand. I understand that happens when you rode the short bus to school and only have a GED.

      • $31427826 says:

        The average fed makes 130K and the above average fed makes 75K

        • mandinka says:

          must have gone to school with obama

          • Pat Fucile says:

            At least he went to school and didn’t have to resort to taking the GED tests.

          • mandinka says:

            You think Barak has a degree?? Sorry he has a quota degree which is 1 step BELOW a GED

          • Pat Fucile says:

            He has a high school diploma. If you have a GED, you don’t even have a high school diploma.

          • mandinka says:

            No he has never released his transcript from HS. No one has ever said that they went to HS with barak

          • Pat Fucile says:

            Massively incorrect. While he hasn’t released transcripts, he has had people say they went to the Punahou School with them. It’s college, particularly at Columbia, that nobody says they remember ever seeing him there. With that poor of a memory, did you really even pass that GED test?

          • $31427826 says:

            No, just taking a page from the Mandinka Manual.

      • HR Manager (Retired) says:

        COLA, pay adjustment, pay increase, raise – call it what you want it appears very likely that you, if you are a Federal employee, are NOT getting one. Interesting that you seem more concern about what I called it than you not getting more money even after your pay has been reduced due to furloughs. My point is simply that you and others should, instead of complaining among each other and calling each other names, as it frequently happens in Fed Smith comments, should confront those adversely affecting your pay and benefits. This, of course, is assuming that you think a reduction in pay due to furloughs, multi year pay freezes, unequal treatment in the pay of civilians and military members and reductions in benefits, are hurting you and unfair. As for your $139K figure, where did you get this? And please don’t say you looked at agency “payroll” budget because most agencies include more than just “payroll” in these budgets.

        • wombat1951 says:

          About a third of Federal employees will get a raise this year — when they get their step increase. Others will be promoted. Others will get bonuses.

        • A Guest says:

          Manny-dinky defends the military pay, benefits, and other associations because he’s retired from military, thus a positive spend to them always. His past behavior with the Feds he once worked with has left him a bitter pill to swallow (which you can tell by his almost daily posts against Feds).
          He takes pot-shots whenever he can to make it seem Feds are the problems for every action that happens in Government even though we don’t make the Laws, just apply them, while he receiving from Government benefits of every type he takes so for granted. It also doesn’t seem to bother him that his “facts” are a little shady with barely any proof to support his outlandish claims or he takes things out-of-context.

          He makes up percentages or salary numbers that may exist with some Leadership in Washington, DC, but insists on applying to every Fed regardless of Grade or Years of Service in the nation. He mostly finds a way to put-down comments regarding Feds regardless of subject matter – even though he only worked for the military. He has insinuated that he is somehow the personal authority for every agency.
          Manny-dinky obviously has way too much time on his hands.

          • mandinka says:

            Feds don’t make the laws but they make the rules and obligations that has stifled the economy. My posts aren’t “pot shots” but an honest assessment after having 30+ years working around feds.
            Point out a SINGLE fact that isn’t correct just 1. If you can then I will stop posting and if you can’t then you must stop posting DEAL???

          • Pat Fucile says:

            You BS has been proven wrong repeatedly. And unlike you, a lot of us are providing links that prove you wrong.

      • $31427826 says:

        Hey man or woman as the case may be, last time you stated the retirement was funded 95% by taxpayers. Which is it?

        • mandinka says:

          the 5% that feds contribute is insignificant

          • $31427826 says:

            You still didn’t answer the question. Which is it 95% or 100%. If it is so insignificant (like you in the scheme of life) write me a check.

    • Pat Fucile says:

      I don’t know where you are getting your figures from. According to this link, even if we look at an O-8, which is a 3 star general, only makes $149,851.92 a year at the over 18 years. It isn’t until they get to O-10 and over 30 years or O-9 at over 38 years they start making more than 200K. And I can assure you there will be very few at that pay. For a Captain (Army/Marine Corps) which is an O-3 would have to make at least $8333.33 a month to get to 100K a year, and even at the highest time in service does and O-3 get to that high of a salary. http://usmilitarypaychart.com/

      • freedomlover says:

        A Captain, 03 with over 10 basic pay is right at $69600, But there is another $16600 in allowances for food and housing. Of course the allowances are not considered pay and therefore tax free. Considering the tax benefits of the allowances it gets close to $100k. If they are overseas or in a special field additional pays will be added.

      • HR Manager (Retired) says:

        Do you look at just their “pay” – look at all of their “allowances”.

      • $31427826 says:

        Add the benefits and it is well over 200k

    • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

      You should have joined the military earlier in life since you are so envious of the great and easy life they lead. A few deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan are a really cushy way to earn $2500 a month.

      • HR Manager (Retired says:

        Envy is not the point. The point is that both civilians and military members should be treated the same when it comes to pay; if we don’t have the money to increase civilian pay we don’t have the money to increase military pay. And yes, the military pay package, which includes several tax free allowances for items civilian pay for out of the pay, has gotten out of line. As for our current wars, they are not any different than any of the ones we’ve fought before – all wars are HELL and our aim should be to avoid them as much as possible.

        • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

          I would bet that you never advocated raising military pay rates when Fed civilians were making four times what a soldier made per month. Only a veteran can know what war is really like and nobody wants to avoid war more than those that actually have to fight them. But thank God that we have people brave enough to do that when it is necessary. They cannot be overpaid for what they do. If you think HR is hell, try a day wearing their boots.

          • $31427826 says:

            Key thing Hope is they enlisted voluntarily, knowing what was involved. I certainly respect all that they do as I have several immediate members of my family that were in both Iraq and afganistan. Not everyone who is in the military is on the front lines in a combat zone either. I believe in paying well for combat pay but with all the other benefits the military gets, why should they get pay raises and civilians don’t?

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