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By Phil Piemonte

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Just how much is the pay freeze costing you?

One union says it can help you find out.

The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, which represents feds at a dozen or so federal departments and agencies, has posted a free online calculator that the union says will help you see how much you are losing under the federal civilian pay freeze.

The calculator, which IFPTE says assumes a 2 percent inflation rate on base salary, lets you enter a salary, say $50,000, and then automatically generates figures showing your annual salary over 20 years, three ways—with no pay freeze, a two-year freeze and a three-year freeze. For each year, the calculator also computes your cumulative loss under each of the two freeze scenarios.

According to the IFPTE calculator, over the course of 20 years, a two-year freeze for the $50,000 salary example cited above would cost that hypothetical employee nearly the current value of his or her salary—$47,138. Under a three-year freeze, that person would lose $68,550 over 20 years.

We don't know how this calculator works, but a union of engineers probably has decent math credentials, right?

Click here to take a look for yourself.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM

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Reader comments

Tue, Apr 10, 2012 pookeedooo

24 years of civil service. Permanent employee. Took a promotion on a chance to gain greater knowledge of job. Job was listed as TERM - yeah,ouch, but I learned so much more. Job termed/ended before I could return to permanent fte status. I lost my job; getting unemployment isn't making it at all. No benefits -no insurance -agency management and local HR refused to work out a deal with me and several others that were hired becuase we were already civil service. They had me sign papers for a hardship transfer back to my home and former office where I worked before I took this promotion. Then they refused to give me copies of the hardship transfer so Icould take it with me. Now my former office and HR states they never heard of anything about a hardship transfer for me even though the place where I was when the job termed/ended swore up and down they had it and had sent it to my former office. It's been 18 months now and still no job.The thing that pisses me off is not so much the missing hardship transfer paperwork,but the fact that agency HRs are using factors such as location, veteran status, and other factors to hire folks for a certain position wherever and are willing to spend their time,energy and monies to hire someone who has never worked in a particular position that say,me for instance, has worked for at least 10 years or more. I am not eligible for retirement. I only had 6.5 years before retirement. To date,I have applied for 240 federal positions both permanent and term again and again no one will hire me. And another factor local HR offices are using is your credit history and credit score in order to hire you. Did you all know that it is illegal for an employer to get a credit check on you for a job? Look at the websites for Experian, Equifax and see where employers cannot obtain a credit history on you for a job without your written consent. Local HR offices nationwide, both private sector and federal are forging your signature in order to obtain this information.

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 Freaked out Fed

Speak for yourself, Ammo Joe! I am a GS6 that needs every penny to cover the increase in insurance premium. My office is so short staffed we get abused by upper management AND the clients we don't get the time to serve properly. I have been doing the job of two overworked people for almost two years now and can't keep up! The proverbial pile gets higher and so does my blood pressure. This is costing me my HEALTH.

Thu, Jan 12, 2012

What has the pay freeze cost me? It has cost me my desire to always put forth my best effort. It has cost me my faith in my employer's integrity. It has cost me my previous willingness to work nights and weekends in order to make sure projects are completed on time (no OT, I'm exempt).

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 Zingore

Half a percent pay raise after 3 years of no raise at all? That's certainly the "Change" Obama promised--unfortunately it won't buy one cup of coffee a day unless you're making well into the 6 figures.

Tue, Jan 10, 2012 Tim K. Fayetteville, AR

Something else to consider: Our counterparts in the private sector they aren't offered the same deal (a pay freeze) and are laid off lose much more when you put a pen to it. The absence of income all together, for an unknow amout of time, will compound to much more than our losses. Especially when you include other benefits such as retirement and medical expenses. Food for thought. Be blessed.

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