Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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Are So Many Feds Really That Exceptional?

June 9, 2016 Federal employees in higher pay grades were more likely to receive top performance ratings in 2013, according to a new watchdog report. Seventy-eight percent of permanent General Schedule employees in grades 13 to 15 received performance ratings of “outstanding” and “exceeds fully successful” during calendar year 2013, the Government Accountability...

Panel Recommends New Pay and Benefits System for Much of VA Workforce

June 8, 2016 This story has been updated. A panel studying comprehensive reform to vets’ health care recommends moving the entire Veterans Health Administration workforce under one personnel category, which ultimately could increase employees’ pay but also make it easier to fire them. The congressionally-mandated Commission on Care has proposed creating “a new...

VA Is a Safety Net For Many Vets, Study Finds

June 7, 2016 Veterans are an older and more diverse group than they were 15 years ago, and they are also much more dependent on the health care and other benefits provided by the Veterans Affairs Department, according to a new study. The VA “continues to be a health care safety net for...

More Disabled Vets Could Receive New Leave Benefit

June 6, 2016 Disabled veterans who are former federal employees and return to a civilian job in government could be eligible for a new type of leave to attend medical appointments. The 2015 Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act gives 104 hours of sick leave up front to first-year feds who are vets with...

Changes to Veterans’ Preference Could Be On the Horizon

June 3, 2016 Veterans’ preference would only apply to a vet’s first job in federal service under a provision in the Senate fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill. The provision, which is new this year, would not allow veterans’ preference – a confusing and often controversial factor in federal hiring – to be an...

Could Attorney General Decision Help Fired VA Senior Executive Get Her Job Back?

June 2, 2016 The Justice Department this week declined to defend a key part of a 2014 law that aimed to make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department, opening the door to future challenges from affected employees and delivering another blow to a statute some consider unconstitutional. Attorney...

More Money for Defense Buyouts, Troop Pay Raise, and More

June 1, 2016 Defense civilian employees could get a bigger buyout package under a provision in the Senate fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill. The bill would nearly double the current amount department employees could receive under a buyout, from $25,000 to $40,000. Buyouts, or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments, are cash incentives for eligible...

Clinton Pledges More Job Flexibility, Opportunities for Military Families

May 31, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday pledged to help military families better balance work and home by providing more resources for spouses and increasing flexibility related to duty assignments and leave for service members. Clinton, who served on the Armed Services Committee when she was in the Senate, rolled...

Surviving Military Spouse Benefit Will Increase Slightly This Fall

May 27, 2016 A benefit that provides an extra financial cushion for some surviving military spouses will increase from $275 to $310 in October, although its long-term fate remains uncertain. An allowance Congress created in 2008 to ease an offset imposed by the government to prevent benefit double-dipping, is set to expire on...

Unions At Odds Over VA Employee Accountability Bill

May 26, 2016 Unions representing rank-and-file employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are at odds over legislation that would change the disciplinary process for VA poor performers. The National Federation of Federal Employees, which represents nurses, doctors and other health care professionals at 17 VA facilities across the country, on Wednesday urged senators...

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