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Federal Employees News Digest : Nov 18, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: email@example.com What's Inside44 NOVEMBER 18, 2013 • VOL. 63, NO. 18 Red and blue So is there a way to determine if fed- eral workers favor one party over another? Probably not. But let's give it a shot. Although we are officially the United States of America, the electoral system set up by our founders turns it into 50 separate countries every four years when we elect our presidents. Sometimes off-year elections (like this year) are interesting too, if on a much smaller scale. Let's look what happened in some of the states this time around. Earlier this month, New Jersey, nor- mally a Blue state, reelected its popular Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican. While New Jersey is 11th in population (8.7 million), it has only about 26,000 federal employees. Not that many as a percentage of population. At the same time, Christie is not your garden-variety Republican, either. And he doesn't fit the image of the kind of sleek, tanned politician that can be found in either party. A better example might be Virginia, which appears to be transitioning from Red to Blue. It votes Democratic in the few counties bordering Washington, D.C., and in the Tidewater area. But most of the state's counties recently voted Republican. Virginia ranks 12th in population (8 million people) but it has a very large INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • Furloughs cost $2.5 billion 4 • Labor urges end to sequester 6 • Senators question DHS on overtime 8 • Informed Investor 11 • Federal Benefits Q&A 13 • In Brief 13 continued on page 4 Survey reflects turmoil in federal workplace Employee satisfaction across the feder- al government continued to slip in 2013, according to the results of the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey released Nov. 8 by the Office of Personnel Management. The survey---which includes feedback from 376,577 federal employees on all aspects of their employment, including opin- ions of their work experiences, managers and agencies---showed a four-percentage- point decline in overall employee satisfaction government-wide compared to 2012. In addition to using the FEVS to assess overall employee satisfaction and engage- ment, OPM uses the survey results to help gauge overall agency performance and prog- ress in the four areas that make up its Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework---leadership and knowledge management, talent management, job sat- isfaction and results-oriented performance culture. All four of the HCAAF indices also declined in 2013. OPM laid some of the blame for the decline on the ongoing pressures weighing on federal employees, which the agency said threatens the well-being of the workforce. "Factors such as an unprecedented three- year pay freeze, automatic reductions from sequester which included furloughs for hun- dreds of thousands of employees, and reduc- tions in training and other areas are clearly taking their toll on the federal workforce-- and this survey was administered prior to the recent government shutdown," stated an OPM press release. "This serves as an important warning about the long-term consequences of the sequestration and budget uncertainty," OPM said. "Without a more predictable and responsible budget situation, we risk losing our most talented employees as well as hurting our ability to recruit top talent for the future." Labor concurs "OPM's survey results should come as no surprise," AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr., told FEND. "Federal employees have gone three consecutive years without a pay raise. Most were forced to work six days without pay this summer and then were forced off the job for three weeks in October during the government shutdown. They are doing the work of two or three employees due to hiring freezes and other cutbacks." "Looking ahead, employees are facing the real prospect of permanent layoffs, cuts to their retirement and agency budget cuts that will make it even harder to do their jobs," Cox told FEND. "Yet even in the face of these difficult circumstances, the survey shows that federal employees remain committed to serving the American public and feel that their work is important." "Employees will report that they are more satisfied in their jobs once Congress stops holding them hostage to the political whims of the day and instead gives them the resources they need to do their jobs," Cox said. National Treasury Employees Union
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