Debt commission aims at feds' pay, benefits

Draft cost-cutting proposals would hit feds in the pocket, in the pension and in the office

Federal employees could get hit by the debt commission’s recommendations to freeze pay and benefits and cut 10 percent of the workforce.

However, there's no guarantee the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform will adopt the money-saving plans for its final report, which will go to President Barack Obama. The commission is charged with looking for ways to improve the government's fiscal situation and balance the budget.

Its draft report signals a shift in the atmosphere surrounding the federal workforce, wrote Joe Davidson in the Washington Post’s Federal Diary column.

By including such workforce-related proposals, the report might prolong a particular view of federal employees, he added.

News stories in recent months have compared federal employees' pay with that of private sector workers, and the reports have generated debate on the issue.

Read the column and how the commission's recommendations might affect federal employees.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Wed, Jan 5, 2011 Roy Stewart Maryland

Please note, I am a Federal Employee. I believe the public, in general, thiks all Federal Employees are over paid. I would like to remind anybody that is not in the Federal system that there are all type of levels of pay plans within the federal system. I am a WG (Wage Grade) Employee. I can tell you from experience, WG Employees are not paid anyway near what I have been reading in the news media of recent months. Thank You, just a WG worker, trying go from week to week like so many other working individules in this country

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 CR Alexandria

One thing about being Human, we have what we call Free Will. Free will to work for whom we please, and free to attain the level of education that allows to acquire the jobs we are qualified to perform. For those whom look down on public Servants, just remember, When there is Natural Disaster, who shows up, FEMA "Federal PUBLIC Servants", When your car crashed, who saved you by federal seat belt standards "FEDERAL PUBLIC Servants", When Hurricanes, Severe Storms, Drought, Who provides the information "Federal PUBLIC Servants", Who provides information on the Threats to the Nation, and is on the front lines of the defense of the Nation "Highly Educated and Well Trained FEDERAL PUBLIC Servants". BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU JUST MAY GET IT...

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 BillyDaug Kansas City

I'm a fed employee and I'm just happy to have a job in this economy. I can put up with a pay freeze but for heavens sake, if these study groups are going to make a pay comparison between the federal workforce and the private sector, at least compare apples to appples, not apples to oranges. And I hope someone takes a look at the pay of the Congress and their staffs too.

Mon, Nov 22, 2010

Cut the fed workforce by 50%. Give the remaining 50% a 50% pay raise upon the condition it will easier to fire them. This needs doing. Unfortunately, it will barely put a ding in the deficits. Look at the numbers, people. The budget problems are really our inability to win our wars and our massive entitlement commitments. Those are the structural problems - the 800 pound gorillas in the room. And they stink! Why do we pretend they are not there?

Thu, Nov 18, 2010 Erich Darr

Some organizations are way understaffed already. If you cut them anymore, you risk mission failure. You'll end up with mission failure anyway, unless you restaff these organizations before the people with 25 to 35 years of experience all retire.

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