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Should Federal Workers be furloughed? Raises held?

What options should be done


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Zyphlin

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With the switch over in the congress many federal workers are now wondering what the next year is going to hold. Two things currently being talked about is a lowering or removal of the raise for Federal Employees this year and possibly forcing 2 weeks of furlough days on federal employees. See below:

Link 1
Pay raise
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows federal employees are paid an average of 24 percent less than their private sector counterparts. But with the public perception of feds as overpaid and underworked, any type of raise is not guaranteed.

The proposed federal pay raise of 1.4 percent is still up for a vote, and Bransford said he has also heard a "rumor" that President Obama will propose a 0.9 percent raise. Bransford said the 1.4 percent probably will not pass the lame duck session.

There's also a possibility of no raise at all, Bransford said.

Link 2
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced a bill this week that would require two weeks of furlough in 2011 for federal civilian employees. The furloughs would save taxpayers $5.5 billion, according to a release about the bill.

"[Furloughs] provide slight problems but they provide large solutions to the budget trouble we face," Coffman said.

There are other things being talked about, such as hiring freezes, no creation of new positions, and 1:2 attrition rates, but this ones focusing on your thoughts about the two options above and if you support either or both.

As a note to math, a 2 week furlough is roughly 4% of a workers pay.
 

tacomancer

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Unless they are promoted, given additional responsibility, or something else that progresses their career, they should get no more than a raise to cover cost of living increases. Basically, it should be to the same standard businesses should adhere to.
 

jamesrage

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I hope those being furloughed include the politicians. Many states and cities use furlough days to save money so I do not see why this can not be applied at the federal level. If they do start having furlough days I just hope some rat politician doesn't go hey we saved $5.5 billion lets spend it on something like fighting aids in Africa or some other waste of money.
 
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Zyphlin

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Unless they are promoted, given additional responsibility, or something else that progresses their career, they should get no more than a raise to cover cost of living increases. Basically, it should be to the same standard businesses should adhere to.

The yearly raise that is being talked about there is typically the one that has to do with general cost of living/inflation country wide.

Typically at the beginning of the year federal workers see an increased based on the following formula. A government wide raise based on overall cost of living/inflation (Typically 2% or less) + any increase to the cost of living for a locality + any increase their particular agency may give.

This would be in addition to any kind of potential raise on an individual level which is not a garaunteed thing.
 

Zyphlin

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I'll admit my own bias here right off...I am a federal worker.

I think the raise should remain in tact. As already pointed out there, the majority of Federal Employee's make significantly less than their private sector counter part. The 1.4% or 1.9% raise is the generalized cost of living increase and I think that should be given.

I especially think that since I agree with the Furlough as well, and that is by itself a bigger hit than the raise. Doing both is just over kill imho.

The furlough I think is something that I could understand and support, even though it'd be a decently large impact on me, because it could be a tangible way to save significant money while not cutting jobs. However, my apologizes if I don't buy the need to do it to show private sector people the government is doing its fair share. When the private sector is booming there is always joy in how much more they make then their federal counter parts and many are not bothered by making that well known. So forgive me for not thinking we need to show solidarity to them when they're going through tough times...and still doing better off pay wise than us anyways.

So for me, leave the raise alone, enact the 2 weeks of non-subsequent furlough days for the year.
 

justabubba

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I'll admit my own bias here right off...I am a federal worker.

I think the raise should remain in tact. As already pointed out there, the majority of Federal Employee's make significantly less than their private sector counter part. The 1.4% or 1.9% raise is the generalized cost of living increase and I think that should be given.

I especially think that since I agree with the Furlough as well, and that is by itself a bigger hit than the raise. Doing both is just over kill imho.

The furlough I think is something that I could understand and support, even though it'd be a decently large impact on me, because it could be a tangible way to save significant money while not cutting jobs. However, my apologizes if I don't buy the need to do it to show private sector people the government is doing its fair share. When the private sector is booming there is always joy in how much more they make then their federal counter parts and many are not bothered by making that well known. So forgive me for not thinking we need to show solidarity to them when they're going through tough times...and still doing better off pay wise than us anyways.

So for me, leave the raise alone, enact the 2 weeks of non-subsequent furlough days for the year.
none of the above
the cost of living raise should follow the formula
no point in arbitrarily placing the employees on a two week unpaid leave
but i strongly disagree with the position that federal employees are underpaid
if that were the actual case, we would have seen a steady flow of federal workers to the private sector and that is not found
admittedly, some are not compensated for their talents and they do find their way to better paying private employment, leaving mostly average employees and LOTS of dregs
i say that as a retired federal employee and an active AFGE union officer
the civil service system needs a thorough weeding out. it is very top heavy ... especially in HQ and regional offices. do an analysis of many agencies and you will find that the number of managers exceeds the number of nonmanagers
political appointees arrive and hire a retinue of sycophants. the political appointees must leave when their political patron leaves, but the sycophants remain
let me clarify what i am saying. the rank and file civil servants ARE by and large a great group of employees who keep the government running consistently during the changes of political currents. however, those who manage them tend to be on the payroll because of their political connections and not according to their merit or performance. unfortunately, those politically connected employees direct the activities of the career civil servants who are doing the work, often causing the government to operate in very inefficient and ineffective ways
hopefully the debt commission (Bowles/Simpson) will address this misalignment of federal workers/federal expenditures
 

Zyphlin

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I can't tell you how much I agree with you in regards to middle management and the few realistic methods of any actual advancement.
 

digsbe

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The federal jobs should be run like an efficient business, not as a social service to keep workers employed (many federal workers are inefficient and lazy and should be fired). They should make job cuts like private businesses and give raises based on merit. Federal jobs should be held financially accountable.
 

justabubba

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The federal jobs should be run like an efficient business, not as a social service to keep workers employed (many federal workers are inefficient and lazy and should be fired). They should make job cuts like private businesses and give raises based on merit. Federal jobs should be held financially accountable.
explain to us how this should be accomplished
 

Barbbtx

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We have been promised a smaller government. First thing they should do is downsize like a private business would.
 

tacomancer

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We have been promised a smaller government. First thing they should do is downsize like a private business would.

Any reduction should be based off increases in efficiency and productivity, leading to reduced staff. One of the largest problems facing the country is the widening income gap between the rich and everyone else and I cannot support anything that could possibly worsen it.
 

VanceMack

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I hope those being furloughed include the politicians. Many states and cities use furlough days to save money so I do not see why this can not be applied at the federal level. If they do start having furlough days I just hope some rat politician doesn't go hey we saved $5.5 billion lets spend it on something like fighting aids in Africa or some other waste of money.

And that ultimately is the point. There are numerous cost saving, fund raising methods and even though I would be somewhat impacted I would be willing to play along...PROVIDED that congress first put up or shut up...let the cuts start with them, and second, there must be a concrete plan in place to pay down the debt. What we know about congress (both parties) is that if you give them more they will spend it. Hell...they have proven especially skillful at spending even if they dont have it. No more. It has to stop.
 

earthworm

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Something new for America
fairness
equality
This must apply to all.
If union workers have their pay cut, then this should extend to all, from the CEO on down.
And, its not the wealthy who create jobs, its the consumer.
As usual, no vote..
Try a "fair poll".
I cannot love nor hate taxes..
But I hate waste, and in Bubba 's list there is a ton of it.
Digsbe, in our nation not everyone is an athlete, or has at least an average IQ.
I am one of them.
Private industry and business want "perfect" workers - my impression and observation....so its the public sector to the rescue....otherwise these people would starve to death....and we have too much of this with people living in cardboard boxes and mobile homes...
Really wanna save federal money??
435 Representatives are too much.....lets cut this to 100..
one idea of the day.
 

VanceMack

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The federal jobs should be run like an efficient business, not as a social service to keep workers employed (many federal workers are inefficient and lazy and should be fired). They should make job cuts like private businesses and give raises based on merit. Federal jobs should be held financially accountable.

I think you speak in vague generalities based. Fast food workers are inefficient...lazy...and should be fired. All union workers are lazy, inefficient, and should be fired. Teachers are lazy, inefficient, and should be fired. Etc.
The reality is that there ARE some but most? Not even close. Where the government WOULD benefit from is a system of program reviews and transfers. there are areas where personnel are underutilized and there are areas where the federal employees are simple pounded with way too much work.
Like every other profession in the country.
 

Barbbtx

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Eric Cantor || Republican Whip || YouCut

This is a really cool site where you can vote on cuts to be brought to the floor.
Now that the Rep have more power, some may actually pass.
It's a real chance to participate in how tax dollars are spent (not spent).
 

earthworm

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I hope those being furloughed include the politicians. Many states and cities use furlough days to save money so I do not see why this can not be applied at the federal level. If they do start having furlough days I just hope some rat politician doesn't go hey we saved $5.5 billion lets spend it on something like fighting aids in Africa or some other waste of money.
Seldom do we agree on anything.
Rumor has it that Geo Bush has 8 speech writers, Obama probably has 9.
Another problem..
Do you imply, James, that fighting AIDS is Africa is a waste?
It may be!
Its waste that must go.
 

tacomancer

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Seldom do we agree on anything.
Rumor has it that Geo Bush has 8 speech writers, Obama probably has 9.
Another problem..
Do you imply, James, that fighting AIDS is Africa is a waste?
It may be!
Its waste that must go.

Thanks for the indept analysis, prof.
 

jamesrage

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Seldom do we agree on anything.
Rumor has it that Geo Bush has 8 speech writers, Obama probably has 9.
Another problem..
Do you imply, James, that fighting AIDS is Africa is a waste?
It may be!
Its waste that must go.

I imply that spending tax payer dollars on anyone else other than Americans and spending tax payer dollars on extra stuff is a waste period. You do not spend other people's money on frivolous things and give it away to others especially when you are debt. And yes fighting aids in africa is a waste of US tax dollars regardless if there is extra cash to spend which means the tax payers were taxed too much or if we are swimming in debt because the clowns in office decided to waste the money on bull ****. Dropping a **** a load of condoms in those countries and telling those people the evil of not using protection is not going to stop them from having unprotected sex.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Depends on their contracts if they have them.


Follow the contracts as required. If they do not have contracts, COL increases should be held to zero ( no inflation according to the SS people), merit pay increases of course should apply, it does encourage good work. And in most area's a general reduction in staff by about 5% would be good. With the decrease in staff, departments that were overstaffed will not feel a pinch, those that were properly staffed will see a need for more employee's and those that were understaffed, will definately see a requirement for more staff. Given the nature of most admin area's I would suggest that few areas are understaffed
 

MaggieD

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I'll admit my own bias here right off...I am a federal worker...snip...the majority of Federal Employee's make significantly less than their private sector counter part.

Nuh-uh. Not by a long shot. And why does a Federal worker not know that?

Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

CHART: Federal pay ahead of private industry - USATODAY.com

These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Furlough. No pay increase. Overhaul of pensions.
 

Zyphlin

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The issue comes in Maggie when you compare jobs based on job duties not on job title. That said, very interesting article and thanks for the read. Part of the issue why I may very well have a misconception is that my position seems to not fall directly in one of the position titles they talked about. Plus, living in the DC area where there are tons of government contractors and working in a position that is not GS-Scale based, I'm first hand seeing every privately employed individual in a similar job position making 4-10k more than me at least including some that are brand new employees. So my view of it could likely bet swayed from non-common personal experienced mixed with common perception.
 

MaggieD

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The issue comes in Maggie when you compare jobs based on job duties not on job title. That said, very interesting article and thanks for the read. Part of the issue why I may very well have a misconception is that my position seems to not fall directly in one of the position titles they talked about. Plus, living in the DC area where there are tons of government contractors and working in a position that is not GS-Scale based, I'm first hand seeing every privately employed individual in a similar job position making 4-10k more than me at least including some that are brand new employees. So my view of it could likely bet swayed from non-common personal experienced mixed with common perception.

IMO, it's impossible to do any kind of accurate comparison Federal v Private Sector based on job responsibilities. In many of these job titles, one cannot make that argument since a Dental Assistant is a Dental Assistant, yada yada yada. Still, even beyond that, one cannot ignore the vast discrepancy between private sector healthcare/pension benefits and public sector same. Actually, that difference, in my opinion, is outrageous. Public Sector = Defined Benefit Plans; Private Sector = 401Ks and the like. Outrageous. (Hopefully you realize I'm not meaning to insult you with my strong opinion.)
 

Zyphlin

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Nah, you don't bother me with having a strong opinion. As I already said, I'm in favor of the Furloughs even though it'd screw me over big. I don't like seeing the COL not done as I do think that's reasonable, especially when you consider the furloughs going to be a 4% salary hit in and of themselves.

And again, its another instance where my reality doesn't seem to match up with the actual reality. My wife's health care plan, in a similar private sector job with a defense contractor, is much better than mine to the tune of me paying 3 times as much as her for the same coverage. The only benefit I have over hers in the short term is that I have more options to pick, but no option I have is as good as hers.
 

Hoplite

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Eric Cantor || Republican Whip || YouCut

This is a really cool site where you can vote on cuts to be brought to the floor.
Now that the Rep have more power, some may actually pass.
It's a real chance to participate in how tax dollars are spent (not spent).
This sounds like a monumentally bad idea. The average person doesnt know **** about **** when it comes to how our government actually works, why should we take their input on how to improve it?
 
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