Now that early-outs (VERAs) and more limited buyouts (VSIPs) are starting to pop up, the obvious question for most people in government is simple: What’s in it for me?
Younger and mid-career employees may love and respect their elderly colleagues. But…
When a long-time veteran leaves his or her job it can mean the chance for advancement, more training and a promotion for those left behind. So lots of people are asking when/if their agencies are going to drop the good news bomb?
Not so easy to answer in part because the government has changed dramatically between now and the 1980s when buyouts ($25,000 payments pre-deductions) went to tens of thousands of people. Along with VERAs (for people age 50 with 20 years or anyone with 25 years of federal/military service).
The buyouts then were aimed at blue-collar workers in shipyards and depots, and mid-level white-collar employees whose service time and veterans preference status made them immune to layoffs. Many people got buyouts, a few were laid off (RIFfed) and lots of jobs (including checking security clearances) were farmed out to the private sector.
Buyouts 21st century style are going to be fewer, further between and, in many cases, tailored to certain occupations, grade levels or geographic areas.
The poster child for a 2014 style buyout is the Environmental Protection Agency. The new round it is offering is specific as to who, what and where. They are aimed at specific groups of employees here in D.C., Cincinnati and the Raleigh-Durham-Carey Research Triangle in North Carolina, among other areas.
The EPA buyouts will cover 19 offices in nearly all of the agency’s 10 regions. Most of the targeted employees are in GS-13 through GS-15 jobs and they must be off the payroll by early April. Occupations which can take the EPA buyouts in Region 5 (most of the Midwest) include attorney advisors, program managers and environmental engineers.
Bottom line: Most agencies are likely to offer VERAs (early outs) without a buyout. The few that do both early outs and buyouts are likely to tailor them along the very targeted lines of the EPA early-out buyout. Reason: For control purposes. An EPA spokeswoman told Federal News Radio that normal attrition is unpredictable and that EPA “has been challenged in its ability to acquire new talent, build diversity and develop new skills.”
Nominations now open for 2014 Causey Awards Federal News Radio’s 5th Annual Causey Awards seek to recognize and honor the good works of people who challenged the status quo and changed, for the better, human capital management. Nominate someone today for his or her outstanding achievements and important human capital/human resources contributions. While we’re looking for people who made a difference in the HR world, they don’t necessarily have to work in an HR role. In the past, we’ve honored CIOs, a chief of staff, and an inspector general, in addition to human resources professionals, all for their contributions in the HR arena.
OMB tells Congress sequestration cuts aren’t needed in 2014 In a new report to lawmakers, the White House determined discretionary spending fell $2 billion below the Budget Control Act caps. OMB is required to issue a report to Congress 15 days after appropriations bills are signed into law detailing any spending limits that are more than the allowed caps and would trigger across-the-board cuts.
What would life be like without feds? The National Treasury Employees Union has distributed copies of a new public-service announcement featuring NTEU members to 300 TV stations and 1,000 radio stations nationwide. The theme of NTEU’s campaign is “They Work for US.” In addition to the radio and TV ads, the effort includes a website, Facebook page and a social media push. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday announcing the campaign, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said the aim of the campaign is to change the conversation about federal employees.