Is it all downhill next year?

President Donald Trump wants to freeze federal pay, force workers to pay more for their retirement and get less in benefits when they actually do retire.

His timing may be perfect. For you!

He’s also asked Congress for a combined sick and annual leave program that could reduce worker time off options and lower future retirement benefits by giving workers fewer unused sick days to apply toward their service time.

The White House budget plan also revives an old proposal that would base workers pension benefits on their highest 5-year average salary, replacing the current high-3 formula.


Yet could this time, right now, be the equivalent of the good old days for active and retired feds? Because the worst is almost certainly yet to come. Starting next year.

The GOP-lead Congress came close to enacting similar proposed “reforms” but stalled at the last minute and wound up doing nothing on the job-retirement front to you and yours. But it was close for a while. Unions, management associations and organized federal-postal employees fought a lengthy 2017 rear guard action that resulted in nothing happening to the fed family.

Congress and the White House will go after “overpaid”feds with their “plus” fringe benefit package. The administration is convinced that most federal workers are paid about 22 percent more than their counterparts in the private sector. Federal unions have numbers showing a pay gap in reverse. Either way, federal pay and benefits are in the target zone. But there is good news. Maybe …

Time, up to a point, is on the side of the feds. This year anyhow. All members of the House and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. There are a record number of retirements in the House meaning that normally “safe” — as in gerrymandered — congressional districts, in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and possibly Maryland could be hotly, or at least seriously contested for the first time in decades. Because of campaigning commitments, the House worked only about 14 days in January, and plans 13 weekday time-outs this month. It will be out 16 days in June, 31 days in August and 11 in September. And that does not include weekends!

Groups represent feds, postals and retirees are geared to fight — as in block — as if this is a non-election year. At the same time, they want members to let politicians, especially in districts with military bases, VA facilities, major IRS operations and National Parks that a good chunk of their voters are part of the federal family.

If they get the job done and again block major work-life changes, 2018 may turn out to be the good old days — when compared to what’s coming up next year.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The bands Toto and REO Speedwagon, and singers Corey Hart and Bryan Adams all passed on singing “Danger Zone,” for the Top Gun soundtrack. Kenny Loggins eventually agreed to perform the song, which peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in July 1986.

Source: Wikipedia