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Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.
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Bidding opens on 2010 pay raise at 2.9 percent

October 31, 2008 If history is a guide, federal employees will be in line for an average pay increase of at least 2.9 percent in 2010, based on figures released Friday by the Labor Department. From September 2007 to September 2008, the change in the Employment Cost Index was 2.9 percent, a figure...

Sick Leave Slowdown

October 30, 2008 Legislation that would have allowed federal employees hired since 1984 to cash out their unused sick leave at retirement appears to have stalled this year in Congress. But those eligible for the benefit would be wise to hoard that sick leave a little longer since the measure's supporters are gunning...

VA nurses are in short supply

October 28, 2008 Nurses are the largest group of health care providers employed by the Veterans Affairs Department, but its medical centers face significant hurdles in recruiting and retaining them, according to a new report. The Government Accountability Office recommended that VA implement a new staffing system and assess the barriers to alternative...

Candidates hint at how they’ll tackle pay issues

October 24, 2008 Where presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama stand on federal pay for performance is not a hot-button issue for most voters. But for many federal employees, the power of the next president to change their pay and benefits radically could play a role in how they cast their votes....

EEOC group says agencies should boost Hispanic employment and hiring efforts

October 23, 2008 The federal government must enhance and refocus Hispanic hiring plans, and remove barriers to encourage greater opportunities for Hispanic applicants and employees, according to a new report. The Federal Hispanic Work Group, created in May by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, concluded that the government should establish a media outreach...

Panel: No change to locality pay areas in 2009

October 21, 2008 The Federal Salary Council has recommended maintaining the existing locality pay areas in 2009. In an Oct. 14 letter to the President's Pay Agent and other officials, the council denied requests from 42 areas to be included in existing or new locality pay areas in 2009. Those areas -- which...

Merit board touts nontraditional approaches to discipline

October 17, 2008 Federal agencies should give managers more information on alternatives to traditional disciplinary measures, and the flexibility to use them, according to a new report by the Merit Systems Protection Board. The report, released on Wednesday, found that few agencies have a formal policy on alternative discipline. "The merit principles encourage...

OPM terminates contract for electronic retirement calculator

October 16, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday ended a contract with Hewitt Associates because it was not satisfied with the company's performance in creating, developing and maintaining an electronic retirement calculator. Comment on this article in The Forum.Ronald Flom, OPM's senior procurement executive, said during a press conference that the...

OPM terminates contract for electronic retirement calculator

October 16, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday ended a contract with Hewitt Associates because it was not satisfied with the company's performance in creating, developing and maintaining an electronic retirement calculator. Ronald Flom, OPM's senior procurement executive, said during a press conference that the agency would continue its RetireEZ modernization...

CSRS retirees to receive 5.8 percent pension boost in 2009

October 16, 2008 Federal retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System will receive a 5.8 percent increase to their pension checks in 2009, the highest increase since 1982. The government unveiled next year's cost-of-living allowance on Thursday. It is based on the change in the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index for urban wage...

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