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 Fiscal 2017 budget deadline

 

Telework Enhancement Act and the federal wallet

As followers of federal telework know by now, the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act has been signed into law.

Mainstream publication Computerworld notes: “with federal pay freezes looming, there is even more reason for federal employees to telework.”

“For federal employees located in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to a blog, “missing the stress of a day a week of traffic (the legislation provides for federal employees to telework up to 20% of the time) may be a good tradeoff for a cost of living increase. Throw in commuting savings, car mileage saved, personal time saved, and Federal employees who telework may just be OK without the 1.4% raise in 2011.”

Before getting sucked into the pay debate about the “perk of telework,” know that there are at least three points the blog doesn’t make:

  • the proposed pay freeze is for both FY 2011 and FY 2012.
  • many feds may not see any change for up to six months. Agencies will have 180 days to establish a policy on working outside the office.
  • Many feds start seeing a real cut in pay at the end of the month. Unless Congress approves a separate piece of legislation covering tax-cuts, a $230 transit subsidy for employees who use public transportation drops back to $120 a month effective January first, 2011.

Most importantly, telework in the federal government has consistently been touted as more a path to efficiency, cost savings, and an important part of keeping government running during emergencies, than as a perk for federal employees.

Register for the Ask the CIO Chat with Andy Ozment of the Homeland Security Department on Oct. 11, at 1:30 p.m.

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