Are You Nervous In The Service?

Tuesday - 2/14/2012, 2:01am EST

A now retired friend said he enjoyed his time in the federal service - except for the last 17 years!

So how's about you? Have things never been better or never been worse?

Are you depressed/angry because some politicians and portions of the media keep hammering away at the fact that you are overpaid? Or underworked? Or shielded from the realities of an economy in trouble? Or, do you agree or believe that this too shall pass?

What about your boss. Is he or she nervous in the civil service?

Over the past few months I've talked with lots of feds who say they've never been UN-happier. Many, in places like Defense, DHS and the IRS, say the importance of their missions is what keeps them going.

Here's a chance to find out how you, your colleagues and the bosses, are handling the pay freeze, proposals to whack federal retirement and other benefits, and talk of furloughs or layoffs.

Starting tomorrow, Federal News Radio Web Manager Julia Ziegler kicks off a series on federal morale. From the bottom to the top.

Her Wednesday report will focus on the numbers gleaned from a Federal News Radio survey on morale (some of you may have taken it back in January). Hint: The results aren't good. 43 percent of managers and 44 percent of rank-and-file employees said morale was in the tank. Only 12 percent of managers and 11 percent of employees who responded said morale was good. So what's the story? Read her story. Plus, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry has written a guest column for the series explaining how he motivates employees at his agency. (I'll link to them both in my column tomorrow.)

On Thursday, Julia talks one-on-one with several members of Congress about what they expect of feds during tight budget times. Generally speaking, Republican politicians said they sympathized with feds but that we all have to bite the bullet. Democrats, in general, said feds were being asked to shoulder too much of the deficit-reduction load.

Friday's story focuses on some tips for managing (as in, improving) morale. She talked with the 2011 CHCO of the Year about what kind of leadership is needed, at all levels, to make work life more enjoyable and productive.

I don't know about you but I am really looking forward to this series. And no, she wouldn't show me advance copies of her reports. She just tantalized me with tidbits. So we'll see it at the same time. We hope you find them useful.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

By Jack Moore

Calm down Jurassic Park lovers. The grainy video that circulated last week purporting to show a woolly mammoth (which scientists believe has been extinct for 4 million years) crossing a Siberian river has turned out be a hoax. Still uncertain, however, is whether the video was digitally faked or whether it merely captures natural wildlife, such as a bear, in a strange angle, Discovery News reports. The mystery continues ...


BUDGET NEWS FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO

Pay raise, increased retirement contributions in 2013 budget
The President's fiscal 2013 budget request released Monday included a 0.5 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers, who are now in the second year of a two-year pay freeze plus a 1.2 percent increase in retirement contributions from employees.

DoD budget quadruples TRICARE fees for higher-earning retirees
The personnel proposals included in the 2013 Defense Department budget include hikes to health care fees and cutbacks in both uniformed and civilian personnel.

2013 budget: Agency-by-agency breakdown
This year, in a nod to the climate of budgetary uncertainty and a Congress increasingly looking toward cuts, the 2013 budget request details not only how agencies will spend money but how they plan to save it.

President's 2013 budget focuses on federal performance, cuts to waste
The President's fiscal 2013 budget request calls on agencies to "redouble" efforts to cut wasteful spending through emphasizing performance-based results, reorganizing federal agencies and cutting improper payments.