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Federal Employees News Digest : Sep 9, 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 Public Sector Media 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: email@example.com 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 $39. 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. September 9, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 8 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Congress. Upon reflection, the fourth vet- eran (as in old) reporter changed his vote from John F. Kennedy to Nixon. A number of improvements in federal pay and benefits took place during the oth- erwise very flawed Nixon years. After him there were various "reforms" proposed. So-called reforms that were either the petri dish experiments of politicians, or reforms aimed at whacking feds into shape. Presidents Carter and Clinton, both southern governors, were both astounded at how much federal employees made com- pared to workers in their home states. The average fed in the Washington area made more (in salary) than Governor Clinton did in Arkansas. Both insisted that the govern- ment should use a "total compensation" approach when comparing pay with the private sector. Total compensation means including the value of fringe benefits (retire- ment, health insurance, holidays, vacation time, paid sick leave) in the wage package. Both said that if the total compensation package of private vs. federal workers were compared, feds would get much smaller raises each year. If they got any. A Democratic Congress passed the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA). President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. It was designed as a fail-safe system that would give white- collar feds a series of "catchup" pay raises each year. Bush authorized a locality pro- gram that was expanded and incorporated in the new law. After a dozen years feds would, under FEPCA, be paid salaries comparable to private-sector employees doing similar jobs in the same cities. It never happened. President Clinton came in, took one look at federal pay raises and proposed a zero pay raise, the first under FEPCA. Congress balked. Feds got a small raise and it went like that for the rest of his term. Each year he proposed a smaller- than-FEPCA amount. Each year he was overridden. His successor, George W. Bush, did the same thing. and awarded smaller raises than called for by the FEPCA law formula. President Obama proposed a two- year federal pay freeze. Congressional Republicans were jubilant, and extended it a third year. And it may happen yet again. Meantime, Congress is looking at a 1.3 percent raise for uniformed military per- sonnel in 2014. But nothing for civilian feds. The White House has proposed 1 percent for both. The FEPCA law for- mula calls for a 1.3 percent adjustment for civilian feds. We don't know how that will play out. But consider the following contrast... When Jimmy Carter proposed a 9 per- cent pay raise, delegates at the Honolulu convention of the American Federation of Government Employees booed him. They said it wasn't enough. That it was insulting. And in a way, they were right. There was double-digit inflation at the time, an energy crisis and people couldn't buy houses because mortgage rates were too high. Twelve percent and more. So the AFGE folks weren't being ingrates. What they were doing was being unusu- ally harsh on a Democratic president. Fast forward to now. After several years of no pay raises, a Democratic president, who AFGE and all other federal and postal unions endorsed (both times) and worked for, has proposed a 1 percent raise after a three-year freeze. Did the unions boo their president? A little, if you listened carefully. But not much. A couple said they were "disappointed" at the 1 percent. They were hoping for 1.3 percent! Others said the single-digit raise was a "start." What a difference a few decades make! INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Sep 2, 2013
Sep 16, 2013