Gary Morton, AFGE’s VERA/VSIP lead negotiator, says employees also need to consider what budget cuts could mean for themselves and the agency in 2018.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to cut about 8 percent of its workforce through a VERA/VSIP program by Sept. 2.
About 100 House Democrats wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), voicing their opposition over the president’s four major proposed changes to federal retirement. The administration included the proposals in the fiscal 2018 budget proposal and would have a significant impact on both current and future federal employees and retirees.
Democrats and Republicans voiced their concern that EPA’s 31 percent cut in funding for fiscal 2018 could do more harm than good, and leave states “holding the bag” for the federal agency.
The House will pass the VA Accountability First and Whistleblower Protection Act, clearing the way for the President to sign the bill later this week. Some lawmakers and veterans service organizations see the bill’s passage as a major win after years of debate over new accountability legislation. But federal employee groups say the bill would do more harm than good.
John O’Grady, president of AFGE Council 238, which specifically represents EPA employees, says cutting the agency’s budget by one-third will impact federal, state, and local levels of public health, not to mention hurt employee morale.
The President’s full 2018 budget proposal offers a 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian employees and a 2.1 percent raise to members of the military. But federal employee unions and organizations say the raise does little to undo the damage the President’s proposed cuts to federal retirement benefits will have on current employees and retirees and future government workers. The budget also details workforce reductions at some agencies.
It’s been an interesting year for federal employee union, first a hiring freeze. and then a renewed attempt in the Senate to change the terms of employment at the Veterans Affairs Department. Now the House has turned its attention to civil service reform. J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin for one union’s view.
House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says civil service reform is coming. The committee heard proposals for possible changes to federal employees’ pay and benefits Thursday.
Both the Veterans Affairs and Justice departments believe they can easily resolve some concerns with the constitutionality of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. DoJ is concerned, however, that VA will run into the same issues that ultimately rendered a controversial provision on firing senior executives unconstitutional.
The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which senators introduced last week, may have more momentum than previous bills. It now has 12 co-sponsors, including four Democrats and VA Secretary David Shulkin himself. Yet some federal employee groups and experts question whether the new bill has the teeth to truly tackle long entrenched cultural problems at the department.
Members of the Senate have reached a long awaited agreement on new accountability procedures for senior executives and employees within the Veterans Affairs Department. A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act Thursday morning. It would change current disciplinary appeals rights for both SES and rank-and-file employees.
Averages: If you encase one bare foot in dry ice and the other in boiling oil, on average you’re doing fine.
Federal employees with a high school diploma or less earn 53 percent more in total compensation than their counterparts in the private sector, while federal workers with a bachelor’s degree earn 21 percent more, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. In contrast, federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate earn 18 percent less than their counterparts in the private sector.
Congress has been criticized for kicking the can down the road when it comes to federal spending, but as the government shutdown clocks ticks closer to midnight — and agencies dust off their contingency plans — some are wondering if that kicked can might be the best option right now.