Pay Raise, Bonus Holiday?

Want the latest on the 2008 federal pay raise, or your chances of a bonus holiday the day before Christmas? Well, you\'ve come to the wrong place because Mike C...

In our cut-to-the-chase world, it’s probably a safe bet to say that the two job-related burning issues for many feds are as follows:

  • What’s the size of the 2008 pay raise and when will the tables, showing how much feds will get on a city-by-city basis, be published?
  • Since Christmas (Dec. 25th) falls on a Tuesday this year, will feds get a bonus holiday on Monday, Dec. 24th, and when will they know?

Those are excellent questions. Regretably the honest answer from Mr. Know-It-All is I don’t know!!! It’s times like this that people in my situation think about getting another job. A real job.

But I’ll probably stick around. The powers-that-be here have promised me an ergonomic orange crate chair in the New Year and I believe they’ve budgeted for a computer keyboard with English language keys. Sweet!

One reason I would consider the political life is the vacation schedule.

The House and Senate (which left two members behind as a parlimentary procedure) took off well before Thanksgiving to celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of the House and Senate will be back sometime next week as part of their extended tribute to Thanksgiving. Those not on vacations (or running for president) are spending time with their constitutents telling them how busy they are in Washington.

Congressional inaction is the reason the size of the 2008 federal pay raise is still to be decided. Both the House and Senate have tentatively approved a 3.5 percent raise, but the appropriations bill which contains that number, has not be cleared. Once it is (if it is) President Bush is likely to accept that amount although he proposed a 3 percent raise in his budget.

Whatever the final figure, the exact amount you get will depend on how much the national increase is (3 percent or 3.5 percent) and then how much is earmarked for locality raises.

Here’s a look at what is likely to happen, according to OPM, on a selected city-by-city basis.

Bonus Holiday

The potential for an extra day off — our most asked question — is good. You can check the past when president either gave feds a full day off when December 24th was on a Monday, or at least some time off.

The normal procedure is this: The Director of the Office of Personnel Management usually makes a recommendation for or against an extra day off.

In past it went though the Office of Management and Budget, then to the White House official whose portfolio includes civil service matters. Then the president decides.

Which way will it go this year?

Don’t know.

But this is what happened in the past in similar situations.

Medicare and Your Health Plan

The most asked open season question by federal retirees is this: Do I need to buy Medicare Part B as long as I have a federal health plan? Tomorrow the answer(s) from experts.

Health Plan Check List

You have until Dec. 10th to pick your 2008 federal health plan. Previous columns have dealt with the best buys for singles and married couples. And dependent children. More information, from the pros, is on the way. Meantime if you missed last week’s health plan checklist you can get it by clicking here.

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