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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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GAO settles pay dispute with 12 of 308 senior analysts

April 27, 2007 The Government Accountability Office has reached settlements with 12 of 308 employees denied pay increases last year. The 12 employees were offered promotions, back pay and associated benefits as if they had been promoted as of Jan. 8, 2006, several sources confirmed Thursday. The case goes back to June 2005, ...

OPM proposes new rules on higher pay for hard-to-fill jobs

April 26, 2007 The Office of Personnel Management has proposed new regulations to help more agencies use a flexibility allowing higher pay for hard-to-fill positions. OPM's proposal, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, provides a regulatory framework for agencies to obtain permission to offer better pay for positions that require specific expertise in ...

Bill would keep Defense labs out of new personnel system

April 25, 2007 A bill introduced Monday in the House would permanently prevent the Defense Department from bringing its laboratory employees under its controversial new personnel system. The bill (H.R. 2007), introduced by Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, would bar the Pentagon from shifting employees at 10 Defense laboratories to the National Security Personnel ...

Lawmakers seek to extend combat-zone tax break to feds

April 24, 2007 Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate last week that would provide federal civilian employees serving in combat zones with the same tax credit that is available to military service members. The bills (H.R. 1974 and S. 1166), sponsored by Virginia Republicans Rep. Frank Wolf and Sen. John Warner, ...

House panel probes latest DHS personnel overhaul

April 20, 2007 Members of a House subcommittee on Thursday questioned why the Homeland Security Department has continued to move forward with its controversial personnel system in the face of charges that it has caused employee morale to plummet. At a hearing of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on management, lawmakers sought to ...

Distance between best and worst agencies to work widens

April 19, 2007 Overall employee satisfaction across government has changed little since 2005, but the gap between the best and worst agencies is growing, according to an assessment released Thursday. Governmentwide employee satisfaction has decreased 0.4 percent since 2005, according to the 2007 Best Places to Work rankings issued by the Partnership for ...

House panel questions plan to trim federal guards

April 19, 2007 Members of a House committee on Wednesday expressed concerns over a proposal to cut Federal Protective Service staffing and increase fees charged to agencies using FPS' security services. The plan, discussed at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, is part of President Bush's fiscal 2008 budget proposal. Administration officials ...

Lawsuit seeks Sunday pay differential for part-timers

April 18, 2007 A lawsuit filed Wednesday by the labor union that represents employees at the National Weather Service could determine whether all part-time federal employees are entitled to a 25 percent bonus for working on Sunday. The lawsuit, brought by the National Weather Service Employees Organization, seeks to clarify that four part-time ...

No time off for travel on holidays, OPM says

April 17, 2007 Federal employees traveling on federal holidays as part of their jobs are not entitled to compensatory time off, under final rules issued Tuesday by the Office of Personnel Management. "Compensatory time off for travel may be earned by an employee only for time spent in a travel status away from ...

DHS urged to shift bonus money from execs to employees

April 16, 2007 The Homeland Security Department must find a way to give employees better recognition for their contributions and achievements, according to Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee. In a 2007 report card, the panel's majority staff said delaying monetary awards and bonuses for upper-level managers and Senior Executive Service employees ...