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Federal Employees News Digest : April 15, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. April 15, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 37 2 Visit us on the internet at www.FederalDaily.com approved a half dozen changes that made life better for feds. Although most of those changes had been in the works for years, they came together while he was POTUS.) Whatever ... Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon did a number of good things for federal workers. But many civil service historians (that is, long-time watchers of the care and feeding of civil servants) say that Nixon was the best for feds. So good, in fact, that life-long Democrats--- like the presidents of the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Association of Government Employees---all endorsed Nixon for a second term. It helped during that period that Congress was dominated by the Democrats, that federal and partic- ularly postal unions had extremely powerful lobbyists and that Congress had two committees---the House Post Office-Civil Service Committee and the Senate Post Office-Civil Service Committee---devoted to taking care of (mostly) postal workers, white- collar and blue-collar feds, and federal retirees. Being assigned to the PO & CS Committees was not the first choice for most members. They wanted more prestigious assignments, like armed services, banking, appropriations or other committees where their member- ship made them more attractive to lob- byists. And their speaking fees higher. ButonceonthePO&CS Committees, some members found the work not all that demanding. Some who were from districts or states with a lot of feds liked being on the com- mittee. Especially back when postal patronage was still an option. Some also managed to have federal facilities assigned to their hometowns. Pay raises back in the day typically originated in Congress. The raise was the subject of dozens of committee meetings each year. And the debate over the size of the raise took half the year. But presidents were known to propose them. JFK once suggested a general sliding scale increase, with upper-level career employees get- ting the biggest percentages. Nobody batted an eye. Jimmy Carter's proposal of a 9.1 percent pay raise was booed at a union convention by delegates who were living with double-digit inflation. During Carter's tenure, pay raises of about 40 percent were approved. But he doesn't make the "greats" list. Members of Congress were wined and dined by lobbyists, even taken on all-expense-paid trips to football games and the race track. Think of the TV series Mad Men. It really was like that. Great gains were made during that period before the activities of lob- byists were curbed (somewhat) and Congress tightened up its ethics rules. By and large, the postal unions led the way, winning major benefits for their white-collar colleagues, too---until the Post Office Department morphed into the U.S. Postal Service, the quasi-cor- poration that it is today. Bottom line: The good old days were rarely as good as many of us remember them. On the other hand, maybe life was a little less complex. Nobody back then had yet heard the term "sequestration." INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
April 8, 2013
April 22, 2013