Politicians who are trying to break the sprits of federal workers are doing a pretty good job, so far. They’ve threatened benefit cuts (so far none have materialized) and — both parties — have brought us to the brink (again) with the threat of sequestration-triggered across-the-board cuts coming in March.
Staunch defenders of federal workers are on the endangered species list and with a few notable exceptions are keeping rather quiet.
If the sequestration process (originally approved by both the White House and Congress) is triggered, federal workers in many agencies could be furloughed until an agreement is reached, or the start of the new fiscal year in October. Worst-case scenario: That would mean up to 22 days of furlough.
The maximum furlough bite would be 20 percent from March through the end of September or 4 percent (at least) for calendar year 2013.
A couple of weeks back I read somewhere that because of sagging morale, work had come to a standstill in federal offices. I suspect that it was somewhat of an exaggeration. Of course, it hasn’t. And probably won’t, no matter what happens. Work will stop or slow when and if employees are furloughed and forced to go home. Otherwise people will keep on keeping on no matter what their leaders in Washington say about them.
But are feds unhappy? Could they be more motivated and productive? A good guess would be yes! Consider these comments from on-the-job feds:
“…It has been literally forever that a certain political party has been beating on the federal worker, even occasionally getting the Democrats to join in. So we do the work IN SPITE of the idiots in charge. But I really believe that the sequestration is a good thing — it will finally set off the wholesale leaving (of experienced employees). Will our government collapse?
“I always think I have seen everything. A president (John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan) shot, a presidential resignation ( Richard Nixon), a president who napped, a president who couldn’t keep his pants on. But I guess there is more to see. A political party ruled by the crazies. Life is quite interesting.” Jonathan
“…There is a saying that is very common today: people paying their fair share! What people, other than federal employees (with their two-plus year pay freeze) are paying their fair share to prevent a sequester? I don’t mind paying my fair share, but as a Defense Department civilian, it has just been take, take and take. From Me!” Lee at DoD
If sequestration does happen and some key feds are sent home, politicians better hope the country isn’t blindsided by a freak storm, a catastrophic earthquake, a terrorist attack or a major airline disaster, like a mid-air collision.
The Senate could hold hearings blaming the Republicans, the House panel would pummel the Democrats and White House. But the public might remember who forced agencies to shutdown all non-essential services which — in hindsight — might turn out to be rather essential.
White House details widespread furloughs, cuts to agency programs Civilian agencies now have a clearer picture of life under sequestration. The Office of Management and Budget said Friday hundreds of thousands of furloughs and cuts to nearly every agency program can be expected if sequestration goes into effect next month. OMB Controller Danny Werfel said the effective percentage cut to each civilian agency would be about 9 percent over the next seven months. DoD can expect cuts of 13 percent
Obama to back 1 percent pay increase for feds in 2014 budget President Barack Obama will recommend a 1 percent pay increase for federal employees in his fiscal 2014 budget request, according to federal-employee unions. The pay increase will apply to both civilian federal workers and military members. The White House is expected to release its full budget request next month.
SBA head Karen Mills resigning Karen Mills, the head of the Small Business Administration, is resigning. In a note to staff, Mills announced she would step down as administrator after a successor is confirmed “to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.”