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Pay Raise Pushback, Veterans Preference, Military Personnel Reform, and More

September 2, 2015 Is anyone happy with President Obama’s 1.3 percent pay raise plan for federal employees in 2016? It’s doubtful. The plan, announced by the White House Aug. 28, includes a 1 percent across-the-board raise along with an alternative plan for locality pay rates that will bring the aggregate increases to 1.3...

G Fund Suspension Drags On, Pay Raise Deadline Looms

August 26, 2015 The Congressional Budget Office now estimates the U.S. Treasury will run out of cash between mid-November and early December, thus giving Congress more time than previously believed to reach a budget deal (or more time to threaten a crisis, depending on your level of optimism). In March, the country hit...

GSA Announces New Discounted Airfares for Federal Travelers

August 13, 2015 The General Services Administration on Thursday announced that it has finalized contracts with seven major U.S. air carriers that will provide discounted tickets to federal employees on official travel next year. The newly negotiated contracts for the City Pairs program will save the government $2.35 billion in fiscal 2016, GSA...

Presidential Contenders and Pay for Performance, Changes to Prescription Drug Benefits and More

August 12, 2015 This has been a relatively quiet week for pay and benefits news, with Congress leaving town and the Republican presidential candidates largely leaving the federal workforce out of their first debate. The one exception to that rule has been Carly Fiorina, who has made downsizing the federal government a theme...

A Big Appetite for Additional Hack Protections, Extra Paid Sick Leave for Some Feds and More

July 29, 2015 The hack of federal employees’ personal data maintained by the Office of Personnel Management continued to dominate benefits news last week, with lawmakers pushing for increased protections against misuse of the stolen information. The Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday approved a measure that would give hack victims 10 years of...

Removing Poor Performers, Avoiding Bad Financial Advice, Extending Probation for New Feds and More

July 22, 2015 When an agency has to reduce the size of its workforce, should poor performers be first in line to go? That’s a no-brainer for most private sector organizations. But the issue is less straightforward in government. Senate lawmakers are considering a provision in the 2016 Defense authorization bill that would...

Outlook for a COLA Increase in 2016 Still Isn't Great

July 17, 2015 The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released another data point that provides a glimpse into the potential cost-of-living increase for federal retirees in 2016, and it doesn’t bode well. The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose 0.4 percent for the month of June,...

Cuts to TSP, a Deeper Look at Low Morale and More

July 15, 2015 In a move that is getting old, lawmakers are once again looking at cuts in federal employees’ benefits as a way to offset increased spending in other areas. This time, the potential target is the Thrift Savings Plan’s government securities (G) fund. Senators are looking for ways to finance a...

Army to Cut 17,000 Civilian Employees

July 9, 2015 The Army on Thursday announced it will lay off 17,000 civilian employees. The cuts will come alongside a reduction of 40,000 troops that will be complete by the end of fiscal 2018. They “will impact nearly every Army installation, both in the continental United States and overseas,” the service stated....

Big Changes in Overtime Pay, Maternity Leave and More

July 8, 2015 Last week, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus tripled maternity leave for women in the Navy and Marine Corps from 6 weeks to 18 weeks. “Meaningful maternity leave when it matters most is one of the best ways that we can support the women who serve our county. This flexibility is an...