Sixty Cents On The Pay Raise Dollar?

But when it comes to pay raises, however, most people want 100 percent. The full monty.

When it comes to those January pay raises, most white collar federal workers know they will get whatever percentage Congress and the President approve. The raise typically includes a national increase plus a locality pay component. This year, for example, the general raise was 2.5 percent but with the locality pay add-on, feds in the Washington-Baltimore area got a total 4.49 percent increase. Other locality pay areas (Chicago, New York, LA and San Francisco, etc.) also got more than the general 2.5 percent increase.


Except for several hundred thousand Defense Department civilians who are under the National Security Personnel System. NSPS was approved by Congress which has since had a change of heart. DHS, GAO and several other agencies have similar pay-for-performance systems.

Under the NSPS, workers are guaranteed only 60 percent of the annual pay raise okayed by Congress and the White House. This year that 60 percent factor was applied to both the general raise and the locality component. But there is no obligation to do that, according to a pay specialist with the American Federation of Government Employees. The Federal Managers Association confirms the 60 percent figures.

Defense officials last year told WFED that most employees under NSPS did as well, or in many instances better, than they would have under the regular pay raise system. AFGE said it had asked Defense for data on how the pay raises were distributed but so far hasn't gotten the numbers.

Bottom line is that when the final 2009 pay figure is set, and the locality adjustments are cranked into it, that will be that. For most feds. But for people under NSPS and similar pay-for-performance systems it will be a little longer before they find out exactly what they get.

For an explanation of the NSPS system, click here.

2008 NSPS Track Record

Earlier this year we reported that the average Defense civilian under NSPS got a 5.4 percent raise plus a 1.7 percent bonus. Here's the column with the data Defense gave us: click here.

Privatization On Hold

It will be up to President John McCain or Barrack Obama, and the next Congress, to decide whether feds should compete for their jobs with private contractors. At least that's the way the Senate Appropriations Committee would like it to happen. It's voted to suspend competitive-sourcing activities until next year.

The Senate is also working on language that would force the government to take over some jobs that have been outsourced since the mid-1990s. Whether that's a serious proposal (as in how does that work?) or an election year stunt is anybody's guess.

Nearly Useless Factoid

This one from the Long List of Weird Science Facts by

At a glance, the Celsius scale makes more sense than the Fahrenheit scale for temperature measuring. But its creator, Anders Celsius, was an oddball scientist. When he first developed his scale, he made freezing 100 degrees and boiling 0 degrees, or upside down. No one dared point this out to him, so fellow scientists waited until Celsius died to change the scale.

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