Federal Manager's Daily Report

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White House Issues Science, Technology Budget Guidance OMB has issued a memo outlining the administration's multi-agency science and technology priorities for formulating fiscal 2016 budget submissions. Agencies engaged in complementary activities should consult with each other during the budget planning process to coordinate resources and avoid [...]
USPTO Needs Process for Handling Candidate Recommendations, Says IG The Patent and Trademark Office needs to put in place a process to handle internal recommendations for job applicants, the Commerce inspector general has said. In a recent audit it faulted a high-level officialfor using her position to [...]
GSA Green-Lights Hardware, Supplies Contract GSA has issued a notice to proceed on its maintenance, repair and operations purchase channel strategic sourcing blanket purchase agreements, offering discounted prices for tools, paints, hardware and other supplies. It said contractors have until mid-August to make [...]
Air Force Announces Headquarters Reorganization, Force Reduction The Air Force has announced plans to deactivate and realign organizations at headquarters, major commands, and field operating agencies that it says will eliminate 3,459 positions at headquarters across the Air Force, and could save $1.6 billion over five years. [...]
To Stand Up New Installation and Mission Support Center The changes will entail centralizing policy and oversight of installation and mission support activities within a newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, which will report to Air Force Materiel Command, the Air Force stated. It [...]
Federal Government Real Estate Footprint Down 10 Million Square Feet The office and warehouse space in the inventory of the 24 chief financial officer agencies declined by about 10.2 million square feet (roughly 234 acres, or about 17 football fields) at the close of fiscal 2013, OMB has said, crediting a "freeze the [...]
VA Asks for $17.6 Billion to Boost Veteran Care Acting VA secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that the department would need $17.6 billion in additional funding to bolster health care for veterans, in particular to address an increase in veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress [...]
IG Calls on USPS to Improve Business Service Network The Postal Service could generate an additional $382 million in fiscal 2014 by improving customer outreach through its Business Service Network, through which it supports some 23,000 large customers, the USPS inspector general has said. It said that up to 53 percent [...]
OPM Launches Tool to Help Use Federal Viewpoint Survey Data OPM has launched a new website – unlocktalent.gov – to help managers better analyze and understand data from the Federal Viewpoint Survey and OPM’s Enterprise Human Resources Integration, to ultimately help them improve employee engagement. The dashboard is [...]
Download Now: Federal Employee Benefits—Are You Missing Out? Benefits are an important part of the federal employee compensation package, on average worth about two-fifths of salary. However, some of the benefits are voluntary, and many employees do not take full advantage of them, in many cases [...]
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Report: Twelve Deadly Sins Managers Should Avoid

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Occasionally, supervisors and managers, well, “step into it,” and find trouble – sometimes big trouble that defies simple solutions. A very few get fired. But most who wander into the path of a disciplinary bus just wind up involved in months, and sometimes years, of bitter personnel battles. You can skirt these problems easily by avoiding a dozen “deadly sins.” (Remember, there is nothing “common” about “common sense.”)

There always will be tension between those in charge and those supervised by them. One of my favorite sayings when I talk to federal employee groups is: “I’ve never met a federal employee I didn’t like. (long pause) But I’ll bet you have!” Invariably, that results in knowing nods and nervous laughter.

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Report: Federal Pay & Benefits "101"

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The general schedule salary system for white-collar federal employees is what is generally referred to the “civil service” pay system even though it covers only above half of the workforce. The wage system for blue-collar employees is the next largest while numerous other salary systems make up the rest.

The GS system is divided into 15 grades, each of which has 10 steps that are about 3 percent apart. Entry-level hiring into a grade normally is done at step 1 of a grade, although various personnel flexibilities allow hiring at different steps. The grade level of an initial hire depends largely on the occupation, as does the career progression up through the grades. Managerial employees typically are in the GS-13 through -15 levels, although employees in many other occupations can reach those levels, as well.

The federal wage system—sometimes called the wage grade or prevailing rate system—covers federal employees paid by the hour. The aim is to make pay for federal trade, craft, and laboring employees comparable to that of private sector employees doing similar work. The typical wage schedules consist of 15 grades, covering most nonsupervisory employees. Schedules for supervisors and leaders are based on the nonsupervisory schedules, but are separate from them. In each pay grade, there are five step rates, each 4 percent apart.

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