AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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DHS touts success in senior-level hiring

November 5, 2007 The Homeland Security Department hired above and beyond its projected targets for fiscal 2007 and increased its leadership capacity by 17 percent, the agency's top personnel official said Friday. Marta Brito Perez, chief human capital officer for DHS, said in an interview with Government Executive that the department added more ...

Rising Expectations

November 1, 2007 Start of a new union at GAO could change the labor landscape for white-collar feds. More than a year ago, about 20 employees from the Government Accountability Office began meeting in the basement of Holy Rosary Church in Washington, charting their plans to bring in the first union in the ...

Pilot project on handling veterans’ employment complaints called inconclusive

November 1, 2007 A demonstration project designed to study which of two federal agencies is better suited to investigate military service members' complaints about their federal employment rights was inconclusive and merits further review, members of a Senate committee said Wednesday. Congress created the demonstration project in 2004 after criticism from several Guard ...

TSP funds boast strong gains in October

November 1, 2007 October was another sound month for federal employee Thrift Savings Plan investments, with all of the funds earning increases. None of the five basic funds offered as part of the $231 billion 401(k)-style retirement savings plan lost ground last month. The international (I) fund continued to be the star earner, ...

Likely 2009 raise figure comes in at 3.4 percent

October 31, 2007 If history is a guide, federal employees will be in line for a 3.4 percent pay raise in 2009, based on figures released Wednesday by the Labor Department. From September 2006 to September 2007, the change in the Labor Department's Employment Cost Index was 3.4 percent, a figure that President ...

Pentagon to add 75,000 employees to new personnel system

October 31, 2007 The Defense Department is planning to transfer an additional 75,000 nonbargaining unit employees to its new pay-for-performance system, according to an online notice posted Wednesday. The department has been moving its employees to the National Security Personnel System in waves known as spirals. The upcoming round -- Spiral 2 -- ...

Union, law firm partner to pursue reservists' benefit claims

October 30, 2007 The American Federation of Government Employees has teamed up with a New York law firm to help federal employee reservists collect thousands of dollars in back pay. The union and Tully, Rinckey & Associates will co-represent about 10,000 AFGE members who claim they were improperly charged leave for reserve duties, ...

E-mail, campus visits found to be effective in recruiting

October 26, 2007 Relatively inexpensive tools such as e-mails and campus visits can attract college students to federal jobs, according to a new report by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. But such outreach would be most effective if coupled with changes to the hiring process itself, the group found. The report, "Making ...

Consumer-Driven Care

October 25, 2007 The jury is still out on whether high-deductible health plans are in general a good option for federal employees. But with the open season for benefits elections quickly approaching, it could be helpful to understand and determine whether such a plan is right for you. High-deductible health plans and the ...

Panelists suggest reducing reliance on political appointees

October 25, 2007 The conversion of some political jobs to career positions could help address the federal government's leadership and workforce challenges, three panelists said Wednesday. At a seminar sponsored by the Performance Institute, a think tank with offices in Arlington, Va., panelists noted that placing more career employees in leadership roles could ...