Gore pushes plan to tie pay to performance

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Federal managers' pay should be tied to how well they listen to employees, Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday.

Speaking to a gathering of National Treasury Employees Union representatives in Washington, Gore said that an important part of civil service reform is tying senior managers' pay to performance.

"We are not talking about schemes that rank employees against other employees in a zero sum game," Gore told the union members. "We want to measure managers by shared objective goals."

One of the measures agencies should use for managers is how well employees feel about the work environment, Gore said.

"People on the front lines should have their voices heard," he said.

In January, Gore announced that the administration would submit a new civil service reform package to Congress. Under Gore's proposal, managers and executives would be evaluated in part on the results of customer and employee satisfaction surveys, much like a system the IRS has proposed for its managers. The surveys would help decide managers' pay and bonuses.

At the union gathering, Gore did not mention a draft memorandum circulated by the administration that would put political pressure on federal executives to bargain over more issues with employee unions. He did, however, say the federal government should serve as a model of labor-management partnerships.

Gore also said the federal agency with the largest amount of public support is the U.S. Postal Service. He attributed that in part to the fact that unions representing postal workers have full collective bargaining rights.

The Vice President voiced the administration's support for long-term care insurance for federal employees and for more affordable child care in federal buildings. He also praised National Treasury Employees Union President Bob Tobias, who is stepping down in August after 16 years as head of the union.

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