Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
Still Breathing? Here's Your Raise!
Thursday - 6/16/2011, 4:00am EDT
Currently white collar (nonpostal) federal workers are under a White House-ordered pay freeze that is scheduled to run at least through the end of 2012. The House is considering proposals that would extend that freeze on January pay adjustments another one to three years.
But the freeze doesn't include so-called Within Grade (WIG) raises that are given employees every year in the first three steps of their grade, every two years for the next three steps and every three years thereafter until they reach the top, step 10, of their grade.
The odds of not getting a WIG are probably somewhere between the chances of being struck by lightning and being mauled by a crazed goat in Manhattan. That is, all three are possible, but not likely.
A 1979 movie about rising through the ranks in Washington. Not a documentary.
The Office of Personnel Management recently reminded federal agencies that the WIG raises are not automatic, even though over the years the number of feds denied WIGs in each agency could probably fit into the smallest office in that outfit.
The WIGs have been under attack since the Carter Administration when they were dubbed "being there" raises, which, critics said, were handed out automatically to people who showed up and didn't do anything criminal or that frightened the horses at the office.
Groups representing federal workers bristle when the WIGs are described as "automatic." But government data show that for the entire year of 2009, only 737 of the government's 1.2 million white collar workers were denied a WIG based on less than satisfactory performance. That, to a lot of people (especially outside of government) either indicates that either the government is staffed almost entirely by "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" people, or that bosses don't want to face the hassle of denying a raise to, as a former OPM staffer said, "anybody short of an axe-murderer. A convicted axe-murderer."
The virtual automatic nature of within grade pay raises is apparently what prompted the OPM to remind bosses that they aren't automatic and should be limited to the vast majority of workers who earn "fully successful" (or equivalent) ratings.
Whether it works or is just talk depends on several things: How many managers crack down on marginal employees (by denying them within grades), how hard employees push back, and the extent that agencies back up their managers.
If Congress sees it as a genuine policy change (actual numbers won't be available for a long time) it could, maybe, defuse efforts to extend the 2011 and 2012 pay freeze indefinitely.
To reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota
In case you hadn't heard, UPI reports "College students sleep longer, drink more".
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Long term care plans offer variety for feds
Through June 24, federal employees can take advantage of a simpler sign-up process for federal long-term care insurance. But the plans aren't one size fits all.
SEA Conference 2011
Federal News Radio brings live coverage from the Senior Executives Association Conference.
Rural smart grid is a big bucket
The nation's electric grid is being upgraded and modernized. Soon, everyone will be on the so-called Smart Grid, including people in rural areas.