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Alex M. Parker

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Burning Question: Are Feds Overpaid?

April 1, 2010 Numbers tell conflicting stories about government salary gap. For decades, federal employees have argued they are shortchanged by a growing pay gap between government and the private sector, wielding voluminous U.S. workforce data to make their case. The debate prompted reforms such as the 1992 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act ...

Bueller....Bueller.......Bueller

March 29, 2010 You'll never guess who is the latest public figure to stand up for federal employees.... Ben Stein, the conservative speechwriter, lawyer, actor, and funnyman took to the CBS Morning News show to defend federal employees. (Text here, although it doesn't feel quite the same.) Here's a quote: "I have been ...

Leadership void at TSA is a morale bust, say unions

March 29, 2010 A few days after a second nominee withdrew his name from consideration as head of the Transportation Security Administration, federal employee unions are claiming the continued lack of leadership at the agency is hurting morale. "Facing a range of serious issues, it is vital that the Transportation Security Administration have ...

Furloughed Transportation employees have yet to receive checks

March 26, 2010 Nearly 2,000 Transportation Department employees furloughed in early March have yet to receive compensation for two lost days of work even though, according to the Congressional Budget Office, repaying them would not add to the federal deficit. Earlier this week, CBO issued a report stating it would take about $1 ...

Health Care for Obama?

March 23, 2010 Already, the health care bill which President Obama signed into law today would kick members of Congress out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and onto the state-based exchanges which the law will establish. But Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, doesn't think that's enough. Grassley is promising to offer an ...

Feds would feel health care reforms

March 22, 2010 The House sent sweeping health care reform legislation to President Obama's desk late on Sunday night that would alter insurance coverage for many Americans, including federal employees. But the Senate has yet to vote on a package of changes to that legislation, including a tweak to a tax on high-value ...

Excising the Excise Tax

March 19, 2010 To follow up a bit from Alyssa's story on the new health care bill, especially the uncertainty surrounding the excise tax and feds: It's possible that the excise tax -- which is the benefits tax to be levied on insurance plans deemed too generous -- in the soon-to-be-voted on health ...

Union urges permanent collective bargaining rights for New Deal agency

March 19, 2010 A union affiliated with Tennessee Valley Authority employees is pushing for legislation that would guarantee workers at the independent agency permanent collective bargaining rights. Collective bargaining shouldn't be left to management's discretion, wrote Matt Biggs, legislative director for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, in a March 17 ...

TSP annual leave investment bill unveiled

March 18, 2010 Leaders of a House oversight subcommittee have officially introduced a bill that would allow federal employees to invest the cash value of unused annual leave in their Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts. The bill (H.R. 4865), sponsored by Reps. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would let employees roll ...

Health and Wealth

March 18, 2010 With the health care debate reaching a crescendo this week, lawmakers again are talking about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as a vehicle for providing health care coverage to uninsured Americans. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., used the House floor on Tuesday to promote his bill, Access to Insurance for ...