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Ned • 8 months ago

It take no time at all to crush them these days. I do wonder if anyone in the agencies are listening at all.

tg • 1 year ago

Come on folks. While federal civilian and military pay and compensation is a favorite target of the politicians, please quit whining like you work in the salt mines for minimum wage. The level of education, training and experience many feds have is not that high and yet make excellent wages and those over 15 years earn a ridiculous amount of annual leave. Plus, most feds have no idea what it is like to continuously work more than 40 hours a week. Whiny feds only make us all look bad to those hard working and middle class taxpayers that don't have it near as good. Complain and fight the poor leadership that affects our impact and morale but quit whining, especially you Common Sense. If you are so wonderful and underpaid, feel free to go the private sector. All you have done has come off to Joe Taxpayer as a lazy, entitled government employee. I have almost 28 years of federal service and I have many a complaint with how we are treated and targeted but I am paid and compensated well along with many of my colleagues who mostly have advanced degrees. Yes, there are some employees, mostly in Wage Grade and lower enlisted ranks, that could use a boost but by and large the average GS12 in the federal government has a fairly easy desk job with good pay and benefits and the older GS12s dont even have a college degree.

Doubting Thomas • 1 year ago

Sure, but the biggest problem is morale. I believe I am fairly compensated. I believe my benefits packages is fair. I like my coworkers.

What impacts the productivity of my staff is quite clear to anyone who has worked for uncle sugar for more than a few months.

1/2 the legislators in any given year are intent upon scapegoating you. They misinform the public about your agency and missions. They have little understanding of how the programs in government work. They pass legislation directing the agency to do something and then grill the agency and employees for doing it. Congress underfunds an agency and then blames them when service or outcomes degrade.

I love much of my job, but it can be wearing. I do educate the public frequently and imagine some day I will be punished for daring to speak the truth on government time, I've had more than a few congressional inquiries directed at me that I've stood up to.

Even in a location wherein pay and benefits are significantly better than most private sector jobs, we have trouble finding qualified folks who want to work here or stay after finding out what comes with it.

We should be a model employer. We should strive to employ the best. We should make the best want to come and want to stay. We should celebrate rather the demonize.

I will likely spend the rest of my working life within the federal government, I want better and am willing to be vocal about it.

Common Sense • 1 year ago

The agency I am employed by has a lot of incompetent people in it at the top. I look at my chain of command and my immediate superior is unbelievably good. A West Point grad, if he ran the agency the taxpayers would save a hundred billion a year or more. But as we get further away from him and start moving up the chain, the more incompetent the leadership becomes. Finally, at the tippy top is a person who has this mentality that his sole interest is to kiss up to others and not in any way act in a manner that is favorable to taxpayers or agency efficiency. It is nuts, absolutely nuts. Of course, with these draconian pay policies is it any wonder that we get this kind of person in charge who wastes tens of billions of dollars due to incompetence? Is it any wonder we are $20 trillion in debt? SMH

retired worker fed • 1 year ago

Just don't lose your job. it appears you have been there for a long period of time and are high up in the food chain. Leaving before you can collect your pension and losing lifetime medical benefits is a substantial loss even if you are in FERS.

Common Sense • 1 year ago

What Congress is communicating to capped out federal workers is this: year after year after year after year, we want you to tighten your belt. We are going to squeeze you. From now until retirement. Why are we going to do that? Because we can. If you did not know that, shame on you. You should have known before you took the job all those years ago that your national government does not believe in treating its long time employees fairly.

When I took the job, I knew I was making less but I wanted to make a difference. I thought at least they would give me reasonable pay adjustments to account for the increase in the cost of living -- especially since i was earning significantly less than my private sector counterparts to begin with. I had no idea that they would turn into what amounts to a bunch of blood-sucking Ebeneezer Scrooges.

grannybunny • 1 year ago

Government employees are -- to some extent -- like lawyers, in that a lot of people "hate" them until they need them.

Common Sense • 1 year ago

What every person should know about federal civil service is this: there are really two pay systems for everyone. The first system is the one that allows for normal annual raises through step increases. The second is the pay caps. It is intended to put the squeeze on people who have been with the federal government too long to make a move. It is intended to suck long time federal workers dry like there is no tomorrow. Nobody in the private sector has that kind of draconian set up that is intended to give employees back door de factor pay cuts. Only selfish, wicked politicians could come up with such a concept that rewards people, whether they are productive or not, and punishes those who have shown loyalty -- many of whom are among the most productive workers around. SMDH

Doubting Thomas • 1 year ago

I understand your argument, but offer a different take.

Jobs cap out precisely because there is a cap on productivity/efficiency. Most workers produce more as they gain experience, but this is not infinite.

In many agencies there is a problem of management being the only path to GS11-15 positions. Excellent "technicians" but poor people managers are shortchanged by this structure

Common Sense • 1 year ago

Government follows a different beat. Nobody in the private sector employs these draconian pay caps as a way to give back door de facto pay cuts for years on end. There is a reason for that. If they did, the private sector business would not stay in business very long. And people wonder why the government is so inefficient and $20 trillion in debt. Smh

Joe Blow • 1 year ago

The one thing I always noted in my 25 years with NTEU was that when management spoke about incompetent employees they somehow never got around to talking about themselves!

Ishmael Lite • 1 year ago

Ditto an old New Yorker cartoon: fat, irritated-looking, stuffed-shirt boss reviewing papers: "When I said cut the fat & get rid of the dead wood, I didn't mean me!"

Common Sense • 1 year ago

I'm sure everyone here knows this has nothing to do with them not having the money. It is about priorities and they would rather spend the money on themselves, that is, giving it to projects that benefit them personally or their donors, rather than giving us fair raises. That and to expand the mission of government to create more dependency. It is disgusting. Not a one of those 535 on the Hill could care a twit about anything other than their own well being, expanding their own power and getting themselves re-elected. They do not believe the federal employees they shaft every year can help them so their priorities are elsewhere. It is just awful how selfish and greedy those on the Hill are. In their view, anyone in government who is not one of them or in the White House is a pawn to be used. A person would have to be nuts to take a job with the federal government given this entrenched dynamic.

Deputydoright • 1 year ago

My abuse has been over the last 29 years in the DAF. My current supervisor fed me into AcqDemo. What a joke.

No January raise for me. Oboy!

whit3 • 1 year ago

It didn't take long to crush me. In 9 months, the program I work on has lost 6 out of 8 people - only me and a coworker are left. And, our supervisor was moved to a new program without being replaced. Yes, I have no boss right now. And, I will be moving to a new program in the future, doing a job for which i'm not really suited to be doing.

For me, the bad decisions made by bad management have done more to crush me than anything else.

Ready-to-Retire • 1 year ago

I am a civil servant who was also crushed and am ready for retirement. There were many good years at the beginning of my 28-year civil service career working for the Navy. I was not prior military, but was hired under the outstanding scholars program, and I worked for a 3-star admiral. I was an
over-achiever for the first 10 to 15 years. I came in with my master’s degree (MA), and then completed my Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) eventually working for the training community. I was a GS-12 before NSPS. Then when I
rolled out of NSPS I was a GS-11 with over $14,000 above the top step of a GS-11. I was stuck with very small pay increases: no steps, and only half of the annual increase. I learned quickly that my supervisors were not impressed with my additional education. This last command/agency has finally “crushed me” and I've worked for them for 8 years. I am certainly ready to retire this summer when I hit the big 6-0. And I will not be coming back to see my co-workers either.

Ned • 1 year ago

Yup, back at cha. I came to government after 11 years as a Department Head/Supervisor in a large private nonprofit, and State Government. My program management experience earned me recognition from....wait for it...the USDA, when I was in the private sector. I had USDA people urge me to come here in the first place, but ironically, they moved on, and I am stuck. I have a Masters, and outstanding references, and I came to DC to work because I too wanted to make a difference. My crush has gone like this: I have learned that Advanced Degrees are ignored in my agency, or shunned at times. I brought 11 years of Supervisory experience to my offices but I have watched them put Novices in charge of my units in the past without a lick of supervisory training. Middle aged women don't do well where I am. I have great evals, and they use me plenty for project work, but I have moved one grade in 14 years-It seems that I am a great tool to have around, but not to promote. So now, I pay for my own training to remain current on skills, and I am looking to leave. I've had some offers in DC, but I hope to find a federal field position, since despite being "crushed", I still do want to make a difference after 25 years of professional public service.

Ishmael Lite • 1 year ago

Here in the DoD, they spent more time peddling NSPS than we actually had it: whudda freakin' waste!

But we don't even need politicians to eff over fed. employees. The past 20 yr of CMCs CNOs & their claques've managed to turn their respective services into trash heaps.

& It doesn't matter whether the public knows: they'll always refuse to believe that anyone in uniform could be a careerist, selfish, torturous, vengeful twit; anyone they thank "for their service."

Retired Fed • 1 year ago

Two things. First, someone should tell the Republicans that it is not going to do any good to increase the Defense budget like they did during the Reagan years when they demoralize the federal workforce so much that they can't hire good people to run the DOD and wisely spent the increased funds. The same for all of the other departments.

Second, fed bashing has a way of feeding onto itself. You bad mouth people who do good work and they leave for better work places. Then the ones who replaced are less capable, so you badmouth them. Then they leave and are replaced by people who are even less capable. And so on.

Ishmael Lite • 1 year ago

DoD budget long ago left the Reagan-era build-up b.s. in the dust.

One day someone, maybe even from FedSmith, will report that for the past 25 yr those Presidents that've been both completely ignorant & utterly fearful of the Pentagon've pretty much left the DoD to its own devices; w/ occasional help from Congress, which always ensures that those big-tik weps projects never leave their beloved districts.

& Then these thoroughly moussed & goosed hermaphrodites rail & whine about fed. workers? Gee, maybe FedSmith will even report that after all this hokum about same sex marriages & toilets & transgendery, after Jan. 20, we will have a nation run entirely by eunuchs. Which our moral arbiters will sweat themselves to death ignoring.

Common Sense • 1 year ago

Here is the thing: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. That is what is going on now with the federal government. Few people with any snap at all want a federal job any more because the pay policies are so draconian. Not only are they draconian, they are stupid and all premised on child like thinking by politicians. They think, "we can't pay them that ... they will be paid more than we do." Of course, people in Congress have a host of other ways making money (e.g., using their expense account as a slush fund; putting spouses on well paying boards). So they will not raise their own pay because for them it is not a big deal given all their under the table money. They almost like not giving themselves raises so that can make the faux argument to voters that are they are sacrificing for their constituents. The bottom line is the federal government is the most penny wise, pound foolish organization in history. Take my job. Every year I make decisions that result in payment of tens of millions of dollars. One bad apple in my position and it costs the taxpayers big time. For example, a person who was a bad apple and in my position got caught a few years ago and his malfeasance cost the taxpayer more than a billion dollars. How did such a joke get a position in government? Answer: because he was a bottom feeder. The truly qualified people did not want the job. And one of the reasons they didn't was because no one good wants to take what amounts to endless de facto pay cuts (which is what these non-raises are, on account of inflation).

Mentallect • 1 year ago

Any politician not believing in good govt shouldn't be in govt.

Retired Fed • 1 year ago

They will do whatever it takes to keep getting elected, even at our expense.

Mentallect • 1 year ago

Many federal employees don't understand rightwing political morons criticizing their govt are talking about them as well, and so don't feel crushed. let Trump cut taxes for the rich, and services for the poor because red states hurt more being much poorer, less educated, and financially needy on federal welfare. GOPers complain about shipping jobs overseas while they bypass "Made-N-Merica"? Goods to buy toxic China-WalMart junk

jpf578 • 1 year ago

I blame it ALL on you dumb liberals!

Common Sense • 1 year ago

Except the Obama administration has treated federal employees worst than any president the last 150 years. The annual raises he has proposed have been next to nothing. Guess he needed the money he was saving by being so cheap in the area of federal salary to pay for all his vacations, not mention Obamacare.

LaborAttorney • 1 year ago

You obviously weren't around for Reagan's reign of terror.

Mike Kiernan • 1 year ago

Between the CSRA of 1978 and what Reagan did terror is hardly right. More that it was The Great Castration is far more accurate, and now being seen as happening, all over again.

Humility • 1 year ago

Punishing the many for the crimes of the few: On a low level and on a high level that has always been the Government way.
Low level - One or two people abusing a flex time lunch results in everyone having a stop watch on their lunch break with nearly zero time to buy and eat a lunch. The result - everyone brings a lunch in case they get screwed by a long meeting.
High level - One party decides that a particular agency's staff has it in for them or is abusing some funding (recent examples: IRS, DOD, FBI ...) and gets their funding hacked. This is especially egregious because the missions suffer for the crimes of the few political hacks at the top of the agency.
The real solution requires going after and truly punishing those who abuse their privileged position. Where are those who abuse their position today? They are still employed in most cases (in others they retire quietly). This is what must be fixed! When a government employee abuses the power they are entrusted with, they should get investigated without the political parties trying to protect them.

an American • 1 year ago

I agree with what you say, but an issue with "punishing" an employee is the protections afforded under the union. Another issue is with upper management not wanting any "issues," especially if the person being disciplined is a minority.

HappilyRetiredFed • 1 year ago

I felt crushed from day one. We had employee numbers that we had to stamp on our work. The building was a converted warehouse and most of the windows were painted shut. A check cashing service would come out to cash our checks and they would take most of our spare change as payment. After a few months of this I opened my first bank account. No matter how much work we produced it was never enough. The managers wanted the numbers and not the quality. The competition for promotions was fierce, sometimes 800 people filing for a few openings. Wondering every year if our salaries would be approved in time or if there would be another continuing resolution to fund the government for a specified period of time. Then it would start all over. Managers not seeing us as individuals but numbers on a report. And there were numerous reports. The work environment was miserable and managers would complain if we took leave. Leave was the only salvation from the tensions at work, plus it was our leave. Everyone seemed to be on medication for stress or high blood pressure. Just a few things I remember from my 40 years. The only decent thing was the pay and benefits and the friends we made on the job. It may be different for me, I started at ground level GS-2 and left as a GS-11 step 9.

an American • 1 year ago

I don't mean any offense, but did you consider moving to another agency? What you describe seems pretty bad, so why would someone put up with it for so long?

Mike Kiernan • 1 year ago

Many of us have tried, repeatedly, to try to move to another Agency but are sabotaged by our Boss's, many not just openly but being told it's going to happen and dared to do anything, simply because the Boss's know that once we go they are going to have to find someone else to keep them afloat, not to mention that any 'dirty laundry' would now be out and be beyond any control of disclosure, to a US Attorney or PEER-type group. In the DOD / OSD this is common practice, more so under the now gone NSPS, and further reinforced by the MSPB's Hawkes Decision, that has many GS-5 to 9's now literally chained to their job's and desk's, and unable to put in for any other position's, since to do so will signal to the Boss's that we are looking to go, and thus be vulnerable to Supervisory and Managerial abuse, and as such labeling as 'disruptive', and thus subject to 30 Day Termination, with this BS now on our record's, and impossible to fight off. And some wonder why the OPM turnover rate's are so bad ? It doesn't take a Harvard or Stanford MBA to figure it out !

HappilyRetiredFed • 1 year ago

I know it seemed wrong but I had friends there and it was close to home. I should have made a change in my 30's but there was a lot of time invested. Plus, I was not motivated to start over somewhere else. It's my own fault but at least I have a decent pension. I think these horror stories were common everywhere.

Common Sense • 1 year ago

The worst treated are professionals who have capped out. I've not received a pay raise equal to what other federal employees have received since 2002! Usually it is less than half of what most other federal employees receive. Add that to the four years of pay freeze and it is clear that federal employment as a professional is the pits. Amazing that the politicians think more highly of administrative assistants and receptionists than they do of people with advanced degrees, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of education and decades of experience. I know this: no way the best and brightest of my profession would even consider federal employment nowadays. We are becoming a magnet for bottom feeders given these extremely draconian pay policies. That was not always the case.

DAC • 1 year ago

Unfortunately what you say is true for not only professionals but all Federal Employees as is has been a long time since we actually got a decent pay raise. These miniscule and no raises has meant in my particular case that my net pay after taxes, health insurance, and other deductions hasn't risen in over 9 years. You ask yourself why you stick around and like you it is because I have so much time invested and am trying to get a few more years in so in my retirement I won't have to take another job to make ends meet.

zon05454 • 1 year ago

How true it is! I was there for two years that carried on an additional four years..the stigma remains forever, the rumors float, and the damage is irreversible! Never mind that the truth never cam afloat that all was correct. Everything unjustified! Yet, perseverance, dedication, self motivation and caring for your position keeps me going. Why allow them to win........

DAC • 1 year ago

Yes I know the feeling of being black balled as well and I know the feeling of not giving in and allowing your enemies the satisfaction of forcing you out.

pungokayak • 1 year ago

That was a decent article, However, the part about retirement going up is misleading. The HR pundits have been talking about a retirement tsunami for years now and it has yet to happen. Neal sees the tide going up a bit and claims it has significance. He missed the mark on that part of the article.

GI Jane • 1 year ago

What the "retirement tsunami" pundits are apparently not smart enough to realize is this: The federal workforce (especially DoD) appears to be "older" than it really is. Yes....the number of employees over age 50 has increased dramatically, but many, many of those people are not career civilians. They retire after 20, 25, 30 years of military service and step into GS-14/15 and SES positions and they have NO INTENTION of retiring any time soon. Why should they? The majority of them got hired into "management" positions....so all they do is go to meetings all day (well....and the gym, and Starbucks, and lunch........) and take home salaries at (or exceeding, if they were hired under NSPS) the very top of the pay cap! So you are absolutely right....this tsunami hasn't - and isn't - going to happen. What would be an interesting article, would be for one of these folks to do the research into the average age and the average length of CIVIL service comprising the "aging workforce".

NCGran • 1 year ago

The Congress believes you should work until age 70 to collect Social Security, so if you go at 60 you WILL need a job and healthcare until you can collect Social Security and go on Medicare. It's the same in the Private Sector. AARP has ing supported a 4-legged stool for retirement and many have worked hard for it. You will need Personal Savings, Pension, Social Security and a 401K. One will NOT survive inflation in old age on a fixed income with less. I think the "double-dipping has to be revisited and for Higher GS levels it should NOT be allowed (GS12 and above) especially if they are hired off a minted Colege degree that is more than 7 years old. The Private sector has already moved in this direction. If your degree is more than 7years old, you need to go back to get another degree,especially in higher paying technology jobs.

julianna1 • 1 year ago

I'm leaving at 62 with 17 yrs in. My DH carries our FEHB. He retired CSRS in 2012. He has TSP, I have TSP. I'm lower on the food chain and tapped out at step 10 last year. I'm done in 3.3 yrs. Our house will be paid off the month I retire.

julianna1 • 1 year ago

Back in the day, retired veterans and veterans returning to government work went right into the refit of aircraft, ships, subs, gov fleet mechanic logistics/supply or facilities maintenance. Basically, the same job they did when they were active duty, what they were trained to do. But no, they don't want WG jobs, because...hmmm...yeah, you have to "work". They want to be a manager or an engineer and have absolutely no clue how to do it. I have seen retired military become supervisors and they think they can order civilians to do "anything". Uh, no, that doesn't work.

lvmra • 1 year ago

Yes they usually had to have their hands slapped a couple of times then they seemed to mellow out and some do good and some do not.

G7777777 • 1 year ago

Yet they do order civilians to do "anything" and get away with it. If anyone speaks up about it, the supervisor is given a pass because "well, they are former military, that's the way they 'lead'". When enough of them are in an organization, they turn a blind eye to bringing in others and calling them "management" and "engineers" when they don't have the education or real qualification to do those jobs.

an American • 1 year ago

Agreed. The average age of Federal employees is high and the number of eligible Federal employees is huge, but the number who actually retire is much smaller. At some point, these people will have to retire.

RETVET03 • 1 year ago

"It isn’t just one party either. A bipartisan majority voted to pass the “Stop Playing on Citizen’s Cash Act” to restrict conference spending."

The sponsor was a Republican. All the co-sponsors were Republicans. Hence, this was a REPUBLICAN BILL. I'm pretty sure that means the Republicans chose the title for the bill. The rules were suspended and the bill passed by voice vote of those present. It's a stretch to consider this bill BIPARTISAN if you read the record.

TheSpy • 1 year ago

....As one who never gets to go anywhere on taxpayer dime, im thrilled.

RETVET03 • 1 year ago

A few 10 or 20 hour flights later....

Retiredandforgotten • 1 year ago

While you are busy defending the Democrats, did you notice which recent President froze salaries for two consecutive years with Executive Orders? Hint...initials are BO.