Pay, Benefits, and the Ups and Downs for the Federal Community: Most Intriguing Topics for 2009

Which topics are of the most interest to readers? Here are the top 25 articles from the FedSmith site in 2009.

The website has continued to grow rapidly each year and 2009 was no exception. We have been adding computer capacity and adding more bandwidth each year (or several times throughout the year) to accommodate the growing traffic on the site. We thank all of our readers for continuing to visit the site and for referring our site to your friends and colleagues.

Keeping the underlying programming working properly, and our website up-to-date and changing to meet the growing demands of a site with hundreds of millions of hits each year has been a challenge for our webmaster, Ian Smith. Despite the growing traffic, and the occasional peak demands on the website, the site has functioned well throughout the year thanks to his efforts.

What topics gathered the most interest from our readers in 2009? Federal pay and benefits are generally the most popular topics on the site and last year was no exception.

No doubt, the lack of a cost of living increase for federal retirees was a disappointment to many readers. And, for active federal employees, the annual pay raise that averaged 2% was less than previous years and also disappointed some.

On the other hand, 2009 was a good year for federal benefits. Providing credit for unused sick leave upon retirement for FERS employees and abolishing NSPS were significant events for many readers.

We have been gradually adding more authors who contribute their work to the FedSmith website. Our authors are often well-known in the federal community and they are willing to share their expertise and experience with our readers.

We thank all of our authors for their time and effort and their efforts to make the federal employment experience successful for our readers. Many of these authors also conduct seminars, work as a consultant to federal agencies, handle appeals and legal issues for federal employees and have frequent contact with our readers at their worksite.

Because they are part of the federal community, our authors often identify issues and write about the impact of these issues before the topics are well-publicized. Bob Gilson, for example, wrote about the pending executive order on federal labor relations and the battle over union representation of TSA employees very early in the cycle.

Robbie Kunreuther has an interest and expertise in performance appraisal and pay-for-performance in government and has identified issues and analysis on these topics before new procedures and policies are implemented in the federal workplace.

Susan McGuire Smith frequently spots new court decisions that are unusual, interesting or likely to have an impact on the federal workplace and she provides a concise summary of the issues in these cases—often before they are known to our readers from any other source.

John Grobe routinely addresses topics that are near and dear to the wallets and financial security of readers with his columns on financial and retirement issues and his articles are routinely among the most popular.

We owe all of our authors our thanks for helping to keep the FedSmith site interesting and relevant to the federal community.

The most popular articles on the site reflect current events that impact our community. Here are the top 25 articles from 2009:

Thanks again to all of our readers for visiting the FedSmith website and your referrals of the site to your colleagues in the federal community.

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. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47