5:50 pm, March 5, 2015

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  • Lots of assuming going on here
    contrarian
    People are assuming contracts where they never existed. Promises made by previous leaders are made to be broken by future leaders--don't blame me, I'm quoting the Supreme Court who decided that SOcial Security is NOT a contract. It's a benefit program. It's not insurance. There is no lockbox. There is no account with your name on it. Fed Emps used to have it real bad. Then some, like FBI got to fly first class, boy did they whine when they lost that. Maybe some of them have Netjet accounts now, I don't know. What's certain is the govt is going broke and there is Fat. And lot's of it. Prez Obama and the Dems decided to give the military COLAs while civilians got nothing. Thus began the divide & conquer. Let the whining begin.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Fat?
    Moderate
    As far as I know, George did the same for the military. AS far as I see there is nil fat where I am at. We need more aiditors and collectors.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Time to get real on government work and benefits.
    Jimmy S
    We were underpaid for decades. But, had good benefits with medical, retirement and such. Then the GOP decided to pander to the military so raised pay for military and the Dems decided to pander to the govt unions so raised pay for civilians. The decision was essentially the same result for both. Military got the civilian's gain and civilians got the military's increase. And we all kept and got better benefits. But, the government kept pandering and a great many of those working in military and civil service are way over graded with either waiving the education and skills requirement or just ignoring those criteria. Every one of us who worked in govt knows too darn many who just did not work. Other coworkers had to carry more of a load or the work just went undone. Innovation and technology never reduces all the people but just let many have more goof off time. Were we honest, we should see our kids and grandkids can't afford the costs and we need to step up. I am retired military and wife is retired civil service. My Tricare costs should be tripled right now. Sure, I went to war a few times and risked it all. But, I am not owed a gravy train for life. Everyone would love steak, icecream, shrimp, and watching tv. Do it all the time and die young with lots of problems. That is just what our nation faces. Time to get real. The accountant in the article above is NOT the standard employee in government I met. The real accounting is done either by computers or farmed out to contractors now. We need to hold government accountable for what they actually promised and accept political pandering was just that - buying votes by writing checks on the future. Government work is vital and the best place for most of us as we sure would not have the pensions and such we now have any other place. We would be hat in hand at Pension Benefit Corp with vastly reduced pension and skyrocketing medical costs. Just my view based on reality.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Not every agency is overgraded
    contrarian
    Pay grades at Pentagon are higher than civilian agencies for same paper pushing jobs. Not every agency gets premium pay or perks. Follow the fat and you'll know where to cut.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Agree not every agency is overgraded
    Jimmy S
    Contrarian, yes overgrading varies by agency and department. Varies on how far the job is from DC and some other high grade spots. Some in DOD, especially at the scattered bases are way undergrade compared with DC and some HQ. And some agencies, I know DOJ for example, way overgrade jobs that would be much lower in other agencies and especially outside government employment. USDA way overgrades here in DC and ratchets down their people in the state offices for example. VA does in some crazy inconsistent pattern as well. Sadly, those close to the power can fatten up themselves and friends. But, we do need to follow the fat or we go broke and we all lose.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To contrarian and Jimmy S
    Moderate
    I agree with you 100% contrarian. We auditors are definitely undergraded. And our pensions are nothing great. I am CSRS and have put 7% of my pension into my plan since I started. My pension will be okay, but not great. And I am very underpaid for my work. I also put in $5000/yr (a little more) for my medical. I have earned medical for life.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Grades in the Gov
    Frontliner
    In 1998 Charles Rossotti reformed the IRS by eliminating layers of middle management. Since that time those positions have been filled with analysts. Nothing hinders the front-line government employee more than people who have never done the job telling someone how to do the job. You want to trim the budget and realign federal employee wages? Get rid of double-digit grade overhead who contribute little or nothing to actual customer service and resolution; have unions pay their stewards with union funds so they more selectively choose their grievances; have taxpayer advocates reclassified to a grade scale equivalent to clerks since they don't actually resolve cases but just find an IRS employee who can do it for them and then count your blessings for what you do have and continue to serve America to the best of your ability regardless or critique or opinion.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Some agreement
    Moderate
    You are right about the analysts. Some of the bureaucratic junk we have to do is unbelievable.---I disagree with you about the union stewards. They must represent all employees, not just members. I have seen employees join the union if they have a grievance and then drop out once the grievance is resolved. Howver, I also am very unhappy with the union which does very little for us, but takes credit for much.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Proper perspective & Issues vs. Individuals
    Angela B.
    I'm all aboard the out-of-here train as soon as my Northern Virginia house floats above water because, like many of the FERS feds who hired in to take on a meaningful mission, I've had it up to my eye teeth with being bashed about "how good I have it." I can barely make the ends meet in spite of the salary that is 20 % lower than my peers earn in a much lower cost of living area. And I'm a chemical engineer with decades of experience. I didn't "buy above my means", I simply had the misfortune of accepting the call when it came, at the peak of the bubble, and bought what was available. I'm also getting really "Fed" up with old poops who retired under CSRS who haven't got a clue how deeply things have been cut under FERS. They don't understand that we are INSTRUCTED TO RELY on Social Security for 1/3 of our retirement income by OPM. They don't get it, because they NEVER PAID INTO Social Security in the first place, and I'd appreciate it if they would stay out of the discussion about what happens to the FERS retirement system. I've paid into that system for 30 years, and you'd better believe I expect to get back something from it. Entitlement? No. Return on investment. Shut up. Benefits? Schmenefits. The health care and insurance under FERS are so bad that I stopped carrying them years ago. My husband's benefits under the State of Virginia are way better, cheaper and carry into retirement, and I'm very, very grateful to have them. I've worked in the private sector, for very large, small and micro businesses, and trust me when I say that FERS employee benefits lag far behind the norm. We are, from this employee's perspective, underpaid, underbenefitted, and Way, WAY over-maligned.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • You are mixed up
    Moderate
    First, I am CSRS. And I have supported FERS employees regqarding sick leave etc and criticized CSRS people when they did not support FERS improvements. So do not tell me to shut up.----Second, get back into the medical plan. Take the cheapest one. Does Virginia give medical for life? You said it carries into retirement, but for how long? If not what will you do when you both retire and have to buy medical on the outside. Get the information. And yes, I get it. I had the opportunity to go into FERS and rejected it. If Ronald Reagan offered it, it must have been worse than CSRS. Health care has nothing to do with FERS. If you paid into the retirement system for 30 years, (1982) you are in CSRS. Please restate.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Retirement gravy training pulling out
    Honest Broker
    I worked in low income jobs, joined the military for 6 years, went to college, worked for Government contractor, and then settled in the Government after they lost the contract. I took a 30 percent pay cut to join the Government, but I received almost 4 weeks paid leave versus 1 week and my pay level returned after 2 years. As a contractor, all my medical and dental bills were covered plus we had pretty good travel benefits. We even received nice yearend bonuses, but the contractor life meant changing companies constantly which means the painful process of renegotiating salary and benefits. As a Government employee, I had to absorb my dental bills and travel on economy fare budget. As a Government engineer, I designed the systems and then contracted the work out that was better suited to be out sourced. Things were pretty good for a few years and satisfying, but not making as much money as my commercial counterparts. Starting in the 1990's, it started to go downhill. I noticed more engineering being outsourced and we started to turn into a contract mill living off fees charged for the service. It became a paperwork nightmare wrapped up in learning Government procurement laws and proper legal jargon. Then we started getting dictated on which specific contractor would get the work even if they were not qualified, capable or best cost. I started to notice a trend of supervisors ending up in these mandated companies and asked if that was legal. It turns out it was because they had taken them off the signature authority of the contracts and left that to us worker bees. While the Govt jobs were getting outsourced at exorbitant rates, so was engineering and manufacturing being sent first down to Mexico and then China. Along comes the 9-11 attacks and the politicians really opened the contract flood gates letting contractors access to highly sensitive military operations. Right on the heels of war, the politicians approved speculative home loans to folks that normally would not qualify. Now that the politicians have piled up a mountain of debt, they would rather take it out of the Govt employees rather than face private industry that pays for campaigns and who knows what else. I have started to dread going to work and watching good taxpayer money get squandered. My commercial colleagues at major contract companies are enjoying much nicer lifestyles if they did not squander all of their salaries and invested during the golden dot com years. Because I had to put up with a lot of crap caused by the politicians, I resent my Govt job being referred to as a “gravy train” but rather as a small earned benefit for serving my country. Now that I am finally eligible to retire, savings in TSP, tired of the corruption, and really tired of being demonized, it is not a hard decision to leave. Good luck to those who want to ride it out.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }