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2 Yr Salary Freeze for Fed Employees
Old 11-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
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2 Yr Salary Freeze for Fed Employees

President Obama has announced a 2 year freeze on fed employee salaries. It appears to be a 2 year elimination of automatic COLA's. Seniority progressions and promotions will still occur. So, not a very dramatic proposal, but perhaps a step in the right direction. The freeze would need to be approved by Congress.

Citing deficit, Obama freezing federal worker pay - Yahoo! Finance=


Quote:
The two-year freeze would apply to all civilian federal employees, including those working at the Department of Defense, but would not affect military personnel. The freeze, which requires congressional approval, is expected to save more than $5 billion in savings over two years, $28 billion over five years and more than $60 billion over 10 years, White House officials said
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The pay freeze would not affect bonuses or step increases for federal employees
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
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So all of a sudden military personnel are not feddle gubmint employees? So whose employees are they? China's?
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:49 PM   #3
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$2B doesn't put much of a dent in the $1.3T deficit. And I have to think that preemptive, unilateral, concessions like this will actually make a real bi-partisan deal on the budget a bit harder. If you concede all the things you're willing to give up before you even get to the bargaining table, there is nothing left to bargain over. This seems like a pretty boneheaded, and ultimately counterproductive, tactical move.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
So all of a sudden military personnel are not feddle gubmint employees? So whose employees are they? China's?
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.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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$2B doesn't put much of a dent in the $1.3T deficit.
So if any individual initiative doesn't yield much deficit reduction, it shouldn't even be put on the table? What if it's the least devastating to the largest number of people to make 100 different $2 billion cuts than two different $100 billion cuts?

I'm all for the shared sacrifice of everyone needing to step up and taking a little of the hit rather than a few political punching bags taking all the pain whether through spending cuts or tax increases (or both) - while the usual sacred cows go unscathed.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
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While the 2 billion or so in cuts is helpful....

Unless they speak of additional taxes or cuts to SS or Medicare/Medicaid or Defense then they won't get very far in cutting the deficit.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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So if any individual initiative doesn't yield much deficit reduction, it shouldn't even be put on the table?
I think if you read the rest of the comment, you'll see for yourself that wasn't my point.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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I find the fact that fed workers were scheduled to receive a 1.2% COLA-like increase in 2011 when SS recipients were to receive not a damn thing very interesting. And, btw, that's all that would be canceled under this proposal, the 2011 and the 2012 across the board salary matrix increases. Seniority based step increases, bonuses and promotions are all unaffected.

I like the spirit of the proposal, but as pointed out, the impact on fed employees is minimal and the savings to the fed budget small.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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I think if you read the rest of the comment, you'll see for yourself that wasn't my point.
Just about everyone else in the workforce has endured the same 'unilateral' concessions like this, and most to a much larger degree than a two-year pay freeze (I'm on my third year of a pay freeze and I've had two raises for a total of 4% since 2004).

I'm pretty sure this is a trial balloon anyway, and a signal to the opposition that the president is willing to throw a bone to show bipartisanship. I suspect the goal is a political one, to show that the "other side" isn't working in bipartisan spirit if they don't offer up similar concessions and refuse to compromise at all.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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I like the spirit of the proposal, but as pointed out, the impact on fed employees is minimal and the savings to the fed budget small.
Sometimes the spirit is all you have. As a public sector employee, I accept that when times are great I will be behind my private sector peers, but that when they turn tough I will have my job security. I can't expect to have pay rises on top of that, especially when retail inflation is pretty modest.

A few months ago, the Spanish government announced a 5% salary cut for all staff. However, they also cut their own ministerial salaries by 15%, which helped credibility greatly. (Did I read that when Obama took office, he insisted that all White House staff take a 4-year freeze, or am I imagining it?)
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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I wonder if it will lead to feds retiring? I know a lot of folks still working to get their "high 3" salaries. I wonder if they will stick around now?

I think its a bad idea, and not just because I'm a fed employee. The Gov't is slow, so now that things are improving they make the cuts. They should have done this 2 years ago.

It will take them 2 years past the time when the economy is booming to reverse it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:19 PM   #12
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Good idea. Now let's see congress critters go along with it.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:21 PM   #13
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I wonder if it will lead to feds retiring? I know a lot of folks still working to get their "high 3" salaries. I wonder if they will stick around now?
Won't those employees still receive seniority based step increases for having put in another year? Isn't it just the across-the-board 1.2% lifting of the entire pay matrix that is being canceled?

I'm just trying to be sure that everyone understands that just because the headline says salaries are "frozen," that isn't actually what is being proposed. The salary matrix will be frozen, but individuals will still move upward within it.

Or am I misunderstanding this from the article?


edit: See posts # 16 and #17 for explanations by Bimmerbill and W2R.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
So if any individual initiative doesn't yield much deficit reduction, it shouldn't even be put on the table? What if it's the least devastating to the largest number of people to make 100 different $2 billion cuts than two different $100 billion cuts?

I'm all for the shared sacrifice of everyone needing to step up and taking a little of the hit rather than a few political punching bags taking all the pain whether through spending cuts or tax increases (or both) - while the usual sacred cows go unscathed.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
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.
Now those folks seem mostly to be contractors and gubmint pay scales do not apply. So the grunts in the field are working with contractors who have little in the way of rules to follow and make 10 to 20X what the GI Joe in the next street over does.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:46 PM   #16
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By the time you are approaching retirement, most folks are at the 4 year mark between step (seniority) increases.

I'm at the 2 year mark, but that 2 years just reset due to DoD fooling with performance based pay systems. We converted back, now are in some sort of interim pay plan.

I don't know if this proposed pay freeze includes base salary adjustments or locality pay tho.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:46 PM   #17
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Won't those employees still receive seniority based step increases for having put in another year?
Not usually, unless they are in the first three years of their pay grade. The first three steps come one step per year, the second three take two years, and after that they take three years. After step 10, there are no more step increases unless you get a merit promotion to the next pay grade.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:55 PM   #18
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Not usually, unless they are in the first three years of their pay grade. The first three steps come one step per year, the second three take two years, and after that they take three years. After step 10, there are no more step increases unless you get a merit promotion to the next pay grade.
Bimmerbill and W3R, thanks for the explanation! I'm familiar with pay matrixes for public school teachers (DW was one) where there is usually an increase for each year of seniority up to 20 - 25 or more years, but I wasn't sure how the fed system worked.

So it sounds like some, but not all, fed employees will still be getting step increases but it depends on where they are in terms of time in grade. And, of course, it depends on whether Congress modifies the proposal or passes it at all.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #19
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It takes 16 years to progress thru all 10 steps of the GS system.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #20
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