Cuts in pay, benefits could be part of shutdown deal

This story has been updated.

Cutting the pay and benefits of federal employees could be part of negotiations among lawmakers and the White House to avoid a government shutdown, according to a story in The Washington Post.

The Post reported on Friday that officials are contemplating cost-saving measures that could include denying bonuses and within-grade step increases to feds to achieve a $1.3 billion savings. The story cites a Republican aide and a senior administration official as sources.

The National Treasury Employees Union issued a statement criticizing any proposal that would further reduce federal employees' pay and benefits. "To add the idea that federal employee pay would be cut further is a gross injustice to them and to their service to our nation," said NTEU President Colleen Kelley.

The National Federation of Federal Employees also came out against any scenario in which federal pay and benefits are cut to avoid a shutdown. "We hope that an agreement can be made to fund the federal government before a shutdown occurs, but any further cuts that are targeted at the federal workforce should be considered unacceptable," wrote NFFE President William R. Dougan in a letter to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

President Obama and Congress agreed on a two-year pay freeze on federal salaries, which took effect in January.

At a March hearing on federal pay, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, peppered Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry with questions and statistics on the net increase of federal employees from 2008 to 2010, bonuses and step increases for some civil servants, and whether the pay freeze as proposed actually would save any money. Berry defended the freeze as a cost-saving measure, and noted that most of the awards for federal employees amounted to less than $1,000 per worker.

During the same hearing, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., followed up on Chaffetz's questions, asking Berry whether a freeze on within-grade, or step increases, was possible this year to make the president's freeze a "real one." At the time, Berry said he did not think that was possible at the moment, and defended within-grade increases as a "natural progression" for federal workers.

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.