Coalition: Hands Off Benefits

letters@govexec.com

Congress and the Clinton administration should keep their hands off federal employees' retirement benefits when they look for budget savings, a coalition of federal professional and managerial organizations says.

The Coalition for Effective Change, a council of 32 organizations, including the Senior Executives Association, the Federal Managers Association and Blacks in Government, says in a recent position paper that the federal retirement system has taken enough budget blows, and any more cuts would be unfair to federal employees.

"No other group has made such contributions to reducing the deficit as federal employees, retirees and their families," the coalition charges. "To make any more unjustified changes to federal pay and benefits in the name of deficit reduction would be inequitable and unfair, and would constitute discrimination against federal civil servants, making them bear the brunt of the country's effort to reduce its deficit and debt."

Each year since the group was founded in 1994, the coalition has released position papers on issues concerning federal professionals, managers and executives. This year the coalition focused on seven topics: protecting retirement, improving labor-management relations, improving support for the Senior Executive Service, revamping performance management, promoting employee-friendly downsizing, addressing human resource problems and safeguarding merit principles.

The coalition says alternative personnel systems being tested at various agencies need to be regulated so supervisors don't disregard statutory safeguards for civil servants. As agencies decentralize human resources management, they may open themselves to abuses, including nepotism and unequal treatment of employees, the coalition warns. In addition, employees doing the same work at the same level in different agencies or even different offices in the same agency may wind up with significantly different levels of compensation.

"Employees should be paid on the basis of what they do and how well they do it, not on the basis of which agency, or which agency subcomponent, employs them," the coalition says.

The coalition also finds fault with the federal employee complaint process. Both employees who file complaints and agency offciials who process them say dispute resolution is confusing, complex and takes too long. For example, employee complaints that go beyond the agency level may be handled by one or more of the following: the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Special Counsel. The coalition says overlap among the dispute handlers should be eliminated by combining some of them or by creating a single appeals board.

In the area of labor-management relations, the coalition recommends that union representatives minimize the amount of official time they spend on union business, and that labor-management partnerships include representatives of professional and managerial associations.

The coalition has posted copies of its position papers on the World Wide Web.

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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download

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