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Old 12-01-2010, 07:09 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by brewer12345
So all of a sudden military personnel are not feddle gubmint employees? So whose employees are they? China's?



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A long, long time ago I was in the military (upon invitation from Uncle Sam), and worked alongside those of the GS rating vs. my E"x" rating, at the time.

Their salary scale was much greater than mine, even though doing basically the same tasks.

The only time I was close to what their scale was when I was getting "shift differential" (e.g. combat pay) for a year in my SEA "vacation".

IMHO, the military deserves whatever they can get (regardless of assumed employer) as far as I'm concerned.
I'm well acquainted with the "who has a better deal - military or government civilians?" argument and don't want to get a long discussion going on that. But here's a point that some may not be aware of: government civilian employees are eligible for cash bonuses. Normally, an organization has some percentage of its total civpay set aside for performance bonuses. I can't recall the exact numbers, but it's something low like 2%. That money can then be used at the discretion of the organization's management to give end of year cash bonuses or one-time bonuses for specific accomplishments. When I was the CO of a Navy base, I could reward my civilian employees that way. For the sailors, I could only give them a letter of appreciation/commendation or put them in for a medal. Nice to get the latter recognition but not too useful paying bills.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:25 AM   #62
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About 6 years ago, I ran a computer department for a county elected official. I had four programmers. I visited the office a month or so ago, and noticed that there were now 9 or 10 programmers doing the same job. We had one web specialist, they now have three. We had two database managers they not have four. I don't have a clue what the other two would do. Could this department be shrunk? My guess is yes, however, I'll bet no one in the department thinks this is possible.
Sounds like the private sector is told to "do more with less", while the public sector is told to "do more with more"..........
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #63
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The public sector does not feel the heat of the stock holders. Often there is no need to view the bottom line. Having said that, not all agencies are out of control. I believe Harris County, TX. has had a hiring freeze on for about two years. It will be interesting because there were several new elected officials in the last election. Under the policy in force before the election, if these officials fire the staff of the previous official, they can not replace them.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:16 AM   #64
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The public sector does not feel the heat of the stock holders. Often there is no need to view the bottom line. Having said that, not all agencies are out of control. I believe Harris County, TX. has had a hiring freeze on for about two years. It will be interesting because there were several new elected officials in the last election. Under the policy in force before the election, if these officials fire the staff of the previous official, they can not replace them.

No knowledge of this... but usually if there is a hiring freeze... it means you can not add any new jobs.... replacing people that leave is OK...

Leave can be retired, fired, quit, etc...
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:40 AM   #65
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The public sector does not feel the heat of the stock holders.
I think the public sector bosses felt the heat of the stock holders during the last elections.

Actually I don't really care if I don't get the annual cost of living raise. The total amount of money I would have received was less than $1k per year. In the big scheme of things it is a minor raise. On the other hand I think if they slowed hiring of federal employee to 2/3 or 1/3 or whatever ratio they want to use, it would decrease the size of the government without causing much harm to the economy or the programs being downsized. The people leaving would either be moving on to other jobs, or retiring, either way it would be all voluntary and not work to increase the unemployment numbers. I would expect the cost of the federal employees to drop significantly in the next few years anyway since the boomers are starting to hit retirement age and will be replaced by people at the bottom of the pay scale.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #66
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I would expect the cost of the federal employees to drop significantly in the next few years anyway since the boomers are starting to hit retirement age and will be replaced by people at the bottom of the pay scale.
And perhaps equally significant, more and more federal employees will be on FERS instead of CSRS as we move into the future.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #67
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And perhaps equally significant, more and more federal employees will be on FERS instead of CSRS as we move into the future.

Except that in the case of some CSRS like myself, the amount I'll be losing in retirement income due to the pay freeze is happening in the 2 years immediately prior to my planned retirement date. January 2013 is when I was fully intent on checking out. Now, in order to meet my financial goals for retirement, I'll probably be looking at working another year or two, increasing my pension by 4% or more. Not whining, just adding more information to this discussion. I expect many CSRS'rs will stick around longer to make up for the reduction in pay from what they had projected thier approximate high-three average was going to be. Also...I've submitted my resume for a higher paying position in Virginia. I've received notice I was referred to the selecting official, but I'd still have to be interviewed and then selected to get the job. If I can get this one, then I'd still be on track to retire in a couple of years, but I'd have to go through the hassle of moving, and dealing with that DC traffic! By my estimate, it'd be worth it financially though. More than one way to skin a cat, maybe....
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:23 AM   #68
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Nice to get the latter recognition but not too useful paying bills.
I understand, but the Air Force Commendation Medal (for stuff I did in Nam - don't ask) I did receive helped advance me in the promotion pool once I got back to "the world" (don't sell yourself short; we did appreciate it - at least I did )...
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #69
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TexasProud,
From what I understand the Harris County freeze will not allow the replacement of personnel, without approval of Commissioners Court. As a couple of the newly elected officials are from another party than the one that use to occupy the office, my guess is they will have to make some exceptions.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #70
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Friar, didn't you grant some special liberty? Extra days off with pay are pretty sweet. All I can get is an occasional "supervisors 59" minutes which I end up giving myself since my boss is 1800 miles away.

I've received some bonus money/payouts the last few years. They are typically in the $400 range. After taxes its closer to $250. Not an astromomical figure, but at least it was something.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #71
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When I was a civilian employee of the Air Force, I got a bonus every year for the last 8-10 years. Sometimes only $300-$500, but the last few years, ranging from $1100 to $1500. Then...2 years ago I switched to a different DoD agency, and discovered they're not all as generous as the Air Force. So far, I've only gotten a 16 hours time off award.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #72
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I've received some bonus money/payouts the last few years. They are typically in the $400 range. After taxes its closer to $250. Not an astromomical figure, but at least it was something.
It has been 3 years since our last bonus in private industry. No raises in that time either, and for a 12 month period we had a pay cut. My six percent cut was the smallest at the company, some had 10% cut.

And we lost health insurance benefits and our 401k match among other things.

During the good years, the bonuses never exceeded $1500/yr.

So I'm about to make a switch to government employment at the state level if things turn out the way I think they will. Decent pay bump (under 10%), pension if I put the time in, and better benefits including 75% more time off (40 days vs 23).

When the pendulum swings the other way in a few years, I'll be set to make a jump to private employment again.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #73
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I understand, but the Air Force Commendation Medal (for stuff I did in Nam - don't ask) I did receive helped advance me in the promotion pool once I got back to "the world" (don't sell yourself short; we did appreciate it - at least I did )...
Oh yeah; I understand that. In the Navy, a Navy Achievement Medal or higher gets points factored into the multiple by which enlisted advancement (E-4 through E-6) or selection board eligibility (E-7 through E-9) is determined. Even a letter of commendation signed by a flag officer gets a point. But that's one factor in a computation that includes performance evaluations, time-in-grade, time-in-service, etc. And, at least in my own case, when I was hiring ex-military during my 6 year private industry career, I recognized medals for what they were although I'm not sure all hiring managers did.

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Friar, didn't you grant some special liberty? Extra days off with pay are pretty sweet. All I can get is an occasional "supervisors 59" minutes which I end up giving myself since my boss is 1800 miles away.
Of course I did. But depending on how long it's been since you were in, you might be surprised by the degree to which CO's hands are tied on that these days - or at least were tied at the time I retired. But I certainly have always recognized that the ability to give time off is a good thing to have. And there are ways around the 59 minute rule for civilians as well.

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received some bonus money/payouts the last few years. They are typically in the $400 range. After taxes its closer to $250. Not an astromomical figure, but at least it was something.
Righto; that was my original point. I tended to use the pool of money I had to give fewer large bonuses rather than giving everyone just enough to get a large pizza and a six-pack. Others in my position preferred to spread it around to more people at lower levels. No right or wrong answer there; just a matter of style.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #74
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Friar, didn't you grant some special liberty?
Gosh, I hope that authority stayed down at the NCO level...
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #75
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Gosh, I hope that authority stayed down at the NCO level...
For the most part, but the CO had to set the general parameters.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:51 PM   #76
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When I was a civilian employee of the Air Force, I got a bonus every year for the last 8-10 years. Sometimes only $300-$500, but the last few years, ranging from $1100 to $1500. Then...2 years ago I switched to a different DoD agency, and discovered they're not all as generous as the Air Force. So far, I've only gotten a 16 hours time off award.
More than likely, what is going on is that the other agency reserves the cash for upper management...
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #77
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More than likely, what is going on is that the other agency reserves the cash for upper management...

Maybe...but also the fact is that the Air Force is huge, with a huge budget. I'm with a much smaller agency now. It's under the DoD umbrella, but it's considered to be in the "4th Estate", meaning it doesn't fall under any of the uniformed services. Much smaller overall budget. Or...you could be right!
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:31 PM   #78
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I am a former Fed and believe that the wage freeze is entirely appropriate. Yes, it may only impact the budget on the margins but there are many margins to be trimmed. Shared sacrifice is important.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:17 PM   #79
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Oh yeah; I understand that. In the Navy, a Navy Achievement Medal or higher gets points factored into the multiple by which enlisted advancement (E-4 through E-6) or selection board eligibility (E-7 through E-9) is determined. Even a letter of commendation signed by a flag officer gets a point. But that's one factor in a computation that includes performance evaluations, time-in-grade, time-in-service, etc. And, at least in my own case, when I was hiring ex-military during my 6 year private industry career, I recognized medals for what they were although I'm not sure all hiring managers did.
I lost the illusion of the value of medals when a guy I knew received one for work a gate during an exercise. He didn't do anything while working the gate, except perform the duties of a gate guard. The new belief was reinforced when I received the same medal for putting out a truck completely engulfed in fire in a very congested residential area before the fire dep't arrived.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:23 PM   #80
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I lost the illusion of the value of medals when a guy I knew received one for work a gate during an exercise. He didn't do anything while working the gate, except perform the duties of a gate guard. The new belief was reinforced when I received the same medal for putting out a truck completely engulfed in fire in a very congested residential area before the fire dep't arrived.
It's always hard to discern the behind-the-scenes politics of the awards when they're handed out at the ceremony. It was an unbelievable kabuki theater to negotiate the awards package for a 100-person submarine crew that had just completed a Western Pacific deployment for operations "of vital interest to national security", let alone if they'd done something really noteworthy.

But there's also a substantial difference between the citations of the medals I got (mostly for things we don't discuss sustained superior supervision and paperwork) and the citations on the same medals earned by Navy corpsmen on duty with a Marine platoon...

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For the most part, but the CO had to set the general parameters.
Yep, but back then I was sorta disinclined to ask the questions if I thought I might not agree with the answers.
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