Take me to your leader: Who's in charge?

Wednesday - 1/15/2014, 2:00am EST

How many people does your boss supervise? If you are a manager, how's it going? How well are you managing things?

Over the years, there has been a constant battle in the federal government over the ratio of managers and supervisors in offices and agencies. At one point, it was decided that their were too many bosses. The solution:

Many agencies simply gave supervisors and managers people another title or designation. Their duties didn't change. The actual number of middle-to- higher-grade employees was not reduced significantly, if at all. But Congress and the White House were happy which, in the end, is all that matters.

So how are things today?

What is the status, and what are the duties of federal managers in the year 2014? How do you manage an office, branch or unit of federal workers who have had exactly one pay raise (of a whopping 1 percent) in the last four years?

What are the challenges facing managers today (as well as their subordinates) as Congress increasingly looks for ways to cut costs by chopping into the federal workforce, its pay and benefits?

Today's guest on our Your Turn show at 10 a.m. is Pat Niehaus, president of the Federal Managers Association. She'll talk about how management has changed, and what federal workers want and need to do their jobs.

  • Blue-collar raise: FMA, like federal unions, is working to ensure that Uncle Sam's 230,000 wage-grade employees get the same 1 percent increase approved for white-collar civil servants. Most of the wage-grade or blue-collar workers are in the Defense Department working as highly-skilled craft and trade employees.

  • Chopping future pensions: Most groups representing federal and postal workers say the biggest threat to their members is a proposed change in the way inflation is measured. Federal, military and Social Security retirees got a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment this month. Had the new measure, the so- called "chained CPI," been use instead, the raise would be less than 0.5 percent.

    The FMA and other groups have warned that if the chained CPI — which is favored by the Obama administration — goes into effect, it will reduce future COLAs for the average federal, military and Social Security retiree by a total of $162 billion over the next decade. Niehuas said the smaller raises produced by the chained CPI would mean $48,000 less (over a 25-year retirement) for the typical fed, and $42,000 less for military retirees.

Later in the show Federal Times writers Sean Reilly and Nicole Blake Johnson will talk about the budget situation and pending legislation.

Listen if you can (1500 AM or online), and if you have questions email them to me at mcausey@federalnewsradio.com or call in during the show at (202) 465-3080. The show will be archived here.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

Green potato chips could contain a poison called solanine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. However, you'd have to eat anywhere from 360 to 720 green chips to fall ill (24-48 times the recommended serving size). And after eating that many potato chips, you probably wouldn't feel so great anyway!

(Source: Today I Found Out)


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