Federal words of the year: Freeze, shutdown, Congress

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

When Federal News Radio asked you what the biggest story of 2011 was, the words that cropped up the most were: freeze, shutdown and Congress.

More than 40 people responded to an online Federal News Radio survey with open-ended answers. Among the responses:

  • “The assault on federal employees via the pay freeze and proposed changes to retirement benefits.”
  • “Congress thinking fed workers aren’t worth anything.”
  • “Congress ineptitude.”
  • “The shutdown that wasn’t.”

Most frequently used words in survey responses to question, “What was the biggest federal story of 2011?”.

Federal employees are in the midst of a two-year pay freeze. This year, they also faced multiple threats to their pay and benefits. Most recently, in the payroll tax cut debate, the House pushed through a one-year bill that froze federal pay for one more year. (Instead, Congress passed a two-month bill that didn’t hurt federal pay, but the issue will come up again in February when this bill expires.)

And what about feds’ prediction for the coming year? Federal News Radio asked, “What do you predict will be the biggest federal story of 2012?” The answer was, generally: More of the same.

One respondent wrote that 2012 would bring “an increasingly demoralized federal workforce and a large upswing in retirements and departures.” Another agreed, writing simply, “Retirement tsunami.”


Feds glad to bid adieu to 2011, but will 2012 be better?

Top 10 Federal News Radio stories of 2011

More from the series “2011 and Beyond”

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