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Search Tags: NTEU
House Democrats are pushing for federal employees to get a pay raise next year that's more than three times larger than President Barack Obama proposed. A bill introduced Wednesday by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) would provide federal employees with a 3.3 percent across-the-board pay raise in 2015.
Under the squeeze of sequestration, the size of the Internal Revenue Service's workforce contracted by nearly 6,000 employees by the end of last year, according to new IRS data. At the end of fiscal 2013, the IRS workforce stood at 83,613 employees -- the fewest number in more than decade. That's also 5,938 fewer employees than the agency had on board at the end of fiscal 2012.
For far too long federal agencies have looked to the training budget as one of the first places to cut (after travel) when budgets are tight. Training cuts are among the most shortsighted of the budget-cutting options, says former Homeland Security CHCO Jeff Neal.
The White House's fiscal 2015 budget proposal released Tuesday aims to boost funding for federal-employee training, which has been hard hit by across-the-board sequestration cuts in recent years. The budget also proposes a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees and leaves untouched federal retirement programs.
OPM Director Katherine Archuleta didn't have details on the proposals, but she said agencies need to learn from each other and build on their successes.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that budget and staffing reductions are impacting the agency's core missions of customer service and tax collection. The agency projects it will only be able to answer 61 percent of phone calls this year, meaning some 20 million phone calls will go unanswered. Meanwhile, taxpayers attempting to reach IRS offices are facing wait times that stretch past 20 minutes.
The Senate subcommittee with oversight of the federal workforce will take up the issue of federal-employee compensation and sinking employee morale. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the subcommittee chairman, said at the National Treasury Employees Union's annual legislative conference that the hearing would focus, in part, on making sure federal pay stays competitive with the private sector.
The Internal Revenue Service and the National Treasury Employees Union reached an agreement that will see the IRS pay frontline employees performance awards starting in the spring. Acting IRS chief Danny Werfel canceled payouts of the awards last July, even though the union said the agency was obligated to pay them.
The National Treasury Employees Union has distributed copies of a new public-service announcement featuring NTEU members to 300 TV stations and 1,000 radio stations nationwide. The theme of NTEU's campaign is "They Work for US." In addition to the radio and TV ads, the effort includes a website, Facebook page and a social media push. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday announcing the campaign, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said the aim of the campaign is to change the conversation about federal employees.
In an annual report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, wrote that the IRS faces "unstable and chronic underfunding that puts at risk the IRS's ability to meet its current responsibilities, much less articulate and achieve the necessary transformation to an effective, modern tax agency."