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Federal Employees News Digest : Dec. 3, 2012
December 3, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 21 3 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com The group's leader homed in on pay in particular. "The 27-month pay freeze must end," NTEU President Colleen Kelley said in a statement. "Federal employees have contributed $103 billion over a 10-year period to solving our country's eco- nomic troubles through the pay freeze and increased retirement contributions for new hires. Clearly, federal workers have done more than any other group in the name of deficit reduction." Group sees silver lining "Looking at the top line of the report ... there has been a decline in job satisfaction overall, and some other areas, exactly as John Berry put it," said John Palguta, vice president of policy for the Partnership for Public Service, which advocates for public service. "These declines derive from today's higher stresses on public servants, tight budgets, the two-year pay freeze---and counting, really---and that by the time this survey was done we were in the election cycle and a lot of fed-bashing was going on," Palguta told FEND. "But it's not just the pay freeze, you know. The workload has been increasing at a lot of agencies while the resources have not been doing so. That adds up to a lot more work pres- sure. All of this is being reflected here." Palguta noted that the survey has been released for more than 10 years, and results generally have improved over time. Furthermore, Palguta said, this year's decline in satisfaction was small--- and there were many points in the report that reveal places to leverage for positive change. "OPM does this survey not just to make sure employees are happy---that's just a side benefit if they are, in a way," he told FEND. "The real aim here is to have engaged employees---because engaged employees mean you have a more effec- tive government. "And once you go beneath the top line, you see a number of very important dif- ferences among agencies," Palguta said. "Even as we see some agencies go down, others are managing to go up. Look at the Department of Transportation for instance, a big agency which includes the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Highway Administration---they managed to go up a bit in satisfaction despite being like everyone else and get- ting the budget squeeze." "Part of the reason for that is that Secretary Ray LaHood was able to make employee engagement a high prior- ity, and requiring senior executives to report back exactly what they are doing to engage employees," he continued. "We saw the same thing at the Office of Management and Budget---some improvement. Part of the takeaway here is some external factors have [put down- ward pressure] on their improvement--- but there are things that improve." "This is the good news: Despite the budgetary pressures and election cycle pressures, there are some things that managers can do to improve satisfaction in the workplace," Palguta told FEND. "I suspect we're going to see more improve- ment [as these methods spread]." Another cause for optimism comes in the form of a second term for President Obama, Palguta said. "Despite everything, [employees] know he has proposed this small increase in pay," Palguta said, noting that this was not something Obama's opponent was likely to do. "They know what they've got here." he said. "Feds would like the administration to do more for them---but at the same time, they believe that this administra- tion cares about them, and cares about making government work. And I think a lot of job satisfaction is tied up in whether or not employees believe they can accomplish the mission. And you continued from page 1 Don’t miss our discussion of weekly news topics. Discuss these stories and more with your fellow federal workers at www.FederalSoup.com. continued on page 4 Top Performing Agencies by HcAAF* Index, 2012 2012 Index Score leadership & Knowledge management Government-wide 60 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 71 NASA 73 Federal Trade Commission 72 National Credit Union Administration 67 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 67 results-oriented Performance culture Government-wide 52 Federal Trade Commission 66 NASA 65 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 64 National Credit Union Administration 62 Commerce Department 61 Talent management Government-wide 59 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 72 NASA 71 Federal Trade Commission 70 National Credit Union Administration 68 Office of Management and Budget 65 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 65 Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 65 Job Satisfaction Government-wide 66 NASA 74 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 73 Office of Management and Budget 72 National Credit Union Administration 72 State Department 71 Source: OPM, FEVS 2012. *Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework
Nov. 26, 2012
Dec. 10, 2012