Federal Manager's Daily Report

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Public Service Recognition Week Coming Up Public Service Recognition Week will be May 4-10, an annual event recognizing the contributions of government work at the federal, state and local levels. "Given the continued negative stories about government employees in the media, this week has [...]
Download Now: Talking Points for Federal Employees FEDweek has just produced free download titled Talking Points: Facts about the Federal Workforce and Its Compensation, designed to help employees rebut common criticisms and misconceptions on issues such as the size and nature of the federal workforce, [...]
IG: Financial Controls in Veterans Homelessness Support Program Sound A program established in 2010 to rapidly re-house homeless veteran families and to prevent homelessness for those at imminent risk due to a housing crisis has adequate financial controls in place, the VA's inspector general has concluded. It said [...]
GAO Calls on IRS to Better Safeguard Financial and Taxpayer Data The IRS needs to address information security control weaknesses that place financial and taxpayer data at risk, GAO has said. It said the agency continues to make progress in addressing information security control weaknesses and improving its internal [...]
CHCOC Adds to List of Conferences Qualifying as Official Training The Chief Human Capital Officers Council has added to a list of upcoming conferences that qualify as official training (agencies can pay for it). Included in the previous list are the following: May 5-8, 2014 - Federal Asian Pacific [...]
GSA Says FSSI Wireless Program Will Save Agencies 25% on Average The 18 agencies using the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative wireless blanket purchase agreements are achieving an average savings of 24 percent compared to their previous wireless agreements, GSA has announced. As of March 31 the program has exceeded $1 million in spend [...]
VA Says Disability Claims Backlog Down Almost by Half Over Last Year The Department of Veterans Affairs says it lowered the number of pending disability claims from 611,000 in March 2013 to 344,000 a year later, and that decisions are being made 119 days sooner. The VA, which instituted mandatory overtime to help tackle [...]
EEOC Announces Training Opportunities for Federal Employees The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission haspostedits 2014 federal training course schedule for programs geared specifically to federal employees. It says the interactive training is ideal for federal managers, supervisors and workers alike, as well as EEO counselors and investigators, [...]
Union Wants Armed TSA Units The American Federation of Government Employees called on TSA recently to create an armed transportation security law enforcement officer position assigned to man checkpoints and other locations within an airport. It was speaking at a hearing before the [...]
PPS to Congress: Fill Critical Management Vacancies The Partnership for Public Service told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the prevalence of critical management vacancies throughout the federal government "has to change." PPS president Max Steir recommended Congress spend as much time [...]
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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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