Promotion freeze proposed for all federal workers

In addition to the numerous amendments under consideration decreasing agency budgets and staffing levels, two new amendments would hit federal employees on the ...

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

Your pay’s already frozen for two years. Your step increase, your bonus or your promotion might be next.

Two amendments have been proposed that would deny federal employees step increases currently allowed under the General Schedule.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN.) has introduced an amendment (Amendment #210 to H.R. 1) to the continuing resolution the House is working on that bars the use of federal funds for paying federal employees “any increase in the rate of salary or basic pay” for any office or position with the federal government.

Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-CA.) Wednesday introduced a separate amendment (Amendment #569 to H.R. 1) that would bar the use of step increases, which are small increases eligible to federal employees based on the successful performance of their work.

In a letter sent to the House of Representatives, Federal Managers Association president Patricia Niehaus said “By supporting these amendments, I fear Members of Congress are bowing to political pressure stemming from the spread of misinformation relating to both the composition of the federal workforce and the impact instituting a freeze will have on deficit reduction efforts.”

GovExec reports “Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, called the amendments onerous and poorly-drafted. The proposals single out federal employees and would have a negative effect on government’s recruitment and retention efforts, as well as agency missions, she said. The proposals come on the heels of legislation aimed at freezing federal hiring.”

Federal Times estimates that roughly 1.1 million GS employees would still receive more than $2.5 billion in step increase raises in 2011 and 2012.

The amendments are among nearly 600 being proposed for addition to HR 1, the omnibus spending bill that would fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2011. Current funding expires March 4th.

Attrition and Discretionary Spending

Two other bills directly affecting federal employee pay and benefits have also been introduced in Congress.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis, (R-WY), re-introduced the Federal Workforce Reduction Act, limiting hiring governmentwide to one hire for every two employees who leave federal service, except at the Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs departments.

On the Senate side, Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), has re-introduced S. 360, the Honest Expenditures Limitation Program (HELP) Act of 2011 which would freeze non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels for five years.

A listing of amendments proposed to HR 1 can be found from the GPO in the Congressional Record by clicking here and here.

Does a promotion freeze make sense? Take the poll!

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