11:12 am, July 13, 2014

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  • Minority work force
    tiggolfer
    Why is there such a push for the Government to hire minorities? I think were are past the need for special programs to bring more minorities into the work force. According to the 2010 census, minorities made up about 27% of the US population. Director Berry indicated that the minorities made up 33.8% of the federal workforce, almost 7% above the population level. This country will never get past its prejudices if we don't start treating everybody equally, without special programs that single out one group over another. The Govennment should be the leader in that reguard, with no need for special focus toward one group or another. Hiring should be done on merit and best quilified, rather based on trying to focus on one group or another.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Glass ceiling
    arignote
    Director Berry should look more into barriors minorities face for promotion. The agencies get whiter at the top.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Pot and kettle?
    pj60
    "Quite frankly, if someone is not doing the job, we ought to fire them," said Berry. Excuse me but isn't this the guy who's agency is totally behind on retirements? Many retirees are having to wait months and months and only get action when they call their congressperson to intervene. I would suggest Mr. Berry get his own house in order before criticizing others.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Pot and kettle?..... and the Pinkertons!
    nick of time
    Right on point there, P and K..OPM certainly does need to "remove the splinter" from their own eyes first"..... Management ,especially OPM, needs to get managers to manage- lead by example- trying putting people first as opposed to stuffing your own pockets with bonus money and just checking the "pass" block on performance evaluations. The "pass-fail" system was created in order to allow the "favorites" to be managers and get more pay without managing, because they are...."managers". All Feds know the biggest scam in govt is becoming management then leaving to return to the "rank and file" without any corresponding reduction in pay. Why doesn't Mr. Berry use his obvious exasperation to review every POM peronnel jacket and see if the employees position and pay rate correspond- bet there's a few billion lying around there. The cronies that are "managers" benefit by this "system substantially. Mr. Berry is myopic, plain and simple. He wants nothing more than to obfuscate the "challenege" to obtaining more production. Even more "aggression" by management ("Quite frankly, if someone is not doing the job, we ought to fire them," said Berry) will not work. I work in an agency where managers scream, yell, throw chairs and abuse their power and of course are "covered" by their fellow managers when such incidents occur. Berry has the audacity to say indirectly that output is causally linked to managers being timid- How about a less Pinkertonesque approach.....try that out
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • OPM doing the best the can
    Working_Fed
    Knock off the beating up of fellow feds. Yes the paper pushing is ridiculously slow. But maybe its because they don't have that big of a budget. They've suffered lots of cuts. It's not really a program that any politician could promote because it provides service to feds. You can't run a government like a business because everyone is trying to get re-elected and re-appointed. I wish there was a way to define a few agencies exempt from the political process. It would probably make government more efficient.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Managers too timid?
    FEDup2
    OPM says managers are too timid? Let them come sit in my job for just one day. I've been a manager for many years now and things have changed for the worse. Lets go back to the old way of hiring, the job goes to the best qualified. Let's take another look at FMLA. Stop requiring mounds of documentation on an employee to have their evaluation lowered only to have your efforts squashed by upper, upper management because they fear losing arbitration. What about the minorities that abuse EEO? You have a Caucasian who is performing equally as bad as a minority individual, the Caucasian can dispute it but their chances of winning that dispute are far lower than that of a minority who goes running to EEO claiming they are being treated unfairly due to their ethnic background. I've seen FMLA increase trifold. If you can get a doctor to sign off on it, its approved and it is often abused. There are many people who truly need it but like everything else you have those who get it just to make it difficult for you to document their poor performance issues. They have no work ethics and this is their out. Think about all the medical ailments in this world and the odds of any one of us suffering from one or more of them. Does that mean you are entitled to FMLA because you go to a doctor and get them to complete the form? Chances are yes. Its ridiculous. I personally suffer from some of the ailments that my employees have FMLA for and I rarely call in because of them. I go to work and deal with it. I understand the intention behind all these well meaning perks are there are those that truly deserve them but the guidelines need to be revised so they are fair to everyone. I spend a ridiculous amount of my time documenting, counseling etc. to lower evaluations of those who I inherited with undeserving evaluations which are often given so that the problem employee can get a job in another area and be someone else's problem. So dear OPM critics, don't beat up managers who are doing their jobs. Perhaps you need to be taking a long hard look at the policy makers who make our jobs so difficult. Reconstruct the hiring process so that college is not as important as previous work experience, longevity in their previous jobs. Lets start hiring people who want to work and are not just there to abuse the system and get paid for doing less then their counterparts. I would appreciate not having to waste my time on the poor performers only to be cut down and have more time to reward the good ones who are not praised enough for the hard work they do.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Thumps UP!!
    AFed
    I have to say--managers are TIMID. They know the avenues to fire someone, but no one has the stomach for it. No manager wants to spend YEARS in arbitration with EEO because that's what it always comes down to. I've only seen one uncontested firing and that's because the guy did something so egregious, there was no question. Other than that, there are lawsuits that drag on. Heck, you may be in a new job and still have to deal with the arbitration years later. Absolutely ridiculous. At another agency I used to work for, they couldn't get this one guy fired. In his case, he kept pulling the race card. They finally aligned him under a manager who was of the same race and that manager was determined to fire him. It took well over 2 years to do so but the employee could not file a discrimination suit at that point. The manager said it was so much work, he will never do it again. So, Mr. Berry, I think it's time to look at WHY managers don't want to deal with it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Yes but...
    Spanky
    But I can find two-fold situations where people in management abuse their power and positions throughout the federal agencies. Oh! poor poor you that you HAVE to do your job! If you have a non-performer, you better document it, BACK IT UP with real situations and proven incidents, not just your opinion. Then you BETTER provide the time, space, tools and training to allow that employee a chance to improve... and stop kicking employees further down. Not everyone can be a supervisor or manager. If the employee STILL is a non-performer, FIRE THEM. They can complain and file EEO or MSPB actions all they want. If YOU done your job PROPERLY... you don't have anything to worry about. The agency's attorney will do the rest. You whining supervisors and managers who THINK you know it all make the whole system worse. Learn the GS system before you critisize it and demand something else...
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Yes but...
    FEDup2
    Oh Spanky, I wish I had the ability to promote you to a supervisor or manager and give you a few non performers and see how you respond after that. The bottom line is, it is not this difficult to remove a non performer outside of government and it shouldn't be this difficult within the government. If an employee is a non performer for me, and you and the next manager they have, there is an obvious problem, don't you think? Why does the viscious cycle have to continue. Our goal is not to kick employees down but to stop wasting time on those that will never turn around because they're just in it for the paycheck allowing managers to have more time for those deserving of their time and acknowledge those of you who do your job PROPERLY.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Thumbs UP!!
    FEDup2
    I agree with you AFed with regard to the paperwork and arbitration but, the paperwork is done by frontline management....and beleive me, they are not timid. Issues arise as it goes up the chain of command. It is so true that it takes a long time to get rid of a problem employee and front line managers do feel like they're beating a dead horse because after all is said and done, either the issue gets dropped, the employee moves on to another area where the viscious cycle continues. I've seen employees bounce around year after year before they finally hit bottom. Such a waste of resources.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Finally!
    judycee4
    I am not a manager but I agree with FEDup2. The last decade has been a push to hire only "the best and the brightest" and we have a good cultural diversity. I would say the average age of most new hires is 29. I think many were attracted to the agency because Federal jobs have been the only game in town in this economy. Many of them have MBA degrees and were on the fast track to hiring on with the private sector. They were hired at the GS-07 to GS-09 entry level and hit a promotional ceiling at the GS-09 and GS-11 within a few years. I was actually in a training session with them when they were told they could be GS-12's, 13's and 14's in a few years. No wonder they are disillusioned. Many are good workers but don't plan to be career employees, so there is no incentive to go above and beyond. That makes for a challenge for a manager to inspire them or rate them. They definitely would have benefited to promote from within the ranks of seasoned, experienced employees they already have. Now we are condsidered "too old". I think within the next 5 years the agency will lose most of it's CSRS employees, and all that knowledge. I will have 41 years in this year and it took me 36 years to get a GS-09. That's because there has been always been some type of "select target" group and managers who want to promote their best people really don't have much say.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Finally!
    FEDup2
    The other problem with the "best and the brightest" is they want to do things their way. They question all aspects of management, rules, regs, etc. There is little regard to respect of authority. Many of these educated individuals have an education because their parents pushed them to get it, that doesn't make them the best and the brightest nor the best choice for the job. Maybe a good thing about the hiring freeze is that less people will be moving around and more seasoned, experienced people will be filling promoted and therefore we can reduce the expense of training new hires year after year only to have them move on to other positions to start a new training program in another area. There has been such a turn around of CSRs in recent years that the experience level just isn't there any more. People with just 3 or 4 years with the service are being promoted because thats all there is? A pretty sad state of affairs and running business. Take care of the achievers and they will do right by you. You are right Judy, its disheartening to those who have made a career working for the government only to have to wait a lifetime to achieve their goals if ever. Good luck to you.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Reply to FEDup2
    judycee4
    I couldn't have said it better myself. Just because they have an MBA (which you can earn online nowadays) doesn't ensure they can do, or want to do the job. All they are after is the next dollar level. They have no people skills. Then we had to deal with nepotism, many hires were sons, daughters and young relatives of upper management and their family and friends. They have since put a stop to that practice, but the damage is done. Those kids rocketed to GS-12 to 14 in two years. They actually created positions for them if they couldn't find a management position for them. To make it worse, these young people were recruited to train, when they don't know the jobs themselves. If they had to hire, they could have hired some skilled individuals who had lost their jobs. Someone out of work with a mortgage and family to support would love that opportunity, and would be more career oriented. When this budget mess started and the talk of a shutdown began, the kids in my section were asking "Can they do that?" Welcome to the real world. Today I am protesting by taking my leave and staying home.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • All MBAs aren't bad.
    arignote
    It's just young MBAs without relevant job experience. I’ve seen lots of workers that when back to school to get MBA’s at legitimate colleges, only to be passed over for management positions by someone’s young friend. The new MBA then tries to implement procedures that they read in a book somewhere, usually creating extra paperwork, and disrupting the functions of the department they manage.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }