Commerce to Try Pay Banding

letters@govexec.com

More than 3,000 employees at the Commerce Department will switch to a new pay and evaluation system that would allow for bigger raises for high-performing employees and bonuses of up to $10,000, under a proposed demonstration project the Office of Personnel Management announced last week.

Under the proposal, pay raises would depend on performance evaluations, not on seniority.

The General Schedule pay scale would be eliminated. Employees would instead be classified in broad pay bands, which would be different for different types of careers. For example, scientists might be classified in bands like entry, developmental, expert and managerial. Administrators, computer specialists, economists and other professions would have different band structures.

Broad banding, its proponents say, gives supervisors more flexibility when giving raises and ties promotion more closely to performance. If a manager decides an employee deserves a raise, he or she is not confined to the step raises laid out in the General Schedule, but can determine what an appropriate raise would be within the pay band. Furthermore, the project would allow supervisors to reward employees for superb performance with bonuses of up to $10,000.

Broad banding allows agencies to offer more competitive starting salaries to prospective employees as well. In professions like information technology, where competition for new hires is high, agencies would be able to increase employees' starting salaries. That kind of flexibility will foster speedier recruitment and higher retention rates, OPM says.

Under the demonstration project, managers would also be able to deny raises to poor performers.

The proposal draws on a demonstration project on alternative compensation and classification systems that has been underway at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 1988. The project would be tested at portions of five Commerce Department organizations: the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Technology Administration, the Economics and Statistics Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The proposal for the demonstration project was published in the May 2 Federal Register.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.