money cut

Think Tank Proposes Massive Cuts to Feds’ Pay and Benefits

new report published by the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, proposed $26 billion in cuts to federal employee pay, arguing that the “federal government pays its employees more than they would earn in the private sector.”

The $26 billion from pay cuts is a part of a proposal to save $333 billion total by also making changes to retirement benefits, paid leave and health care. 

The report claims that the federal government overpays its employees because “market forces do not discipline it.” 

Heritage also took General Schedule pay scale to task.

“In theory, the Office of Personnel Management constructs these pay scales to reflect market wages for similar private-sector jobs,” the report said “but in practice, government wages frequently bear little resemblance to market pay.”

Heritage also took issue with across-the-board pay raises and within grade step increases, specifically citing an employee’s ability to appeal a denial for a step increase, preventing managers from blocking the small raises. 

One suggestion made in the report was the elimination of performance improvement plans if an employee is denied a step increase. 

“These PIPs are very time-consuming,” the report read. “Employees can also appeal managers’ decisions to not give them a step increase through union grievances or the Merit Systems Protection Board, and ultimately through the court system. These prospects strongly encourage federal managers to give everyone a scheduled WIGI, irrespective of performance. Congress should not make giving everyone a raise the only sensible option for federal managers.”

Eliminating the government subsidy in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) for retirees was another suggestion in the report, with Heritage estimating a savings of $37 billion. 

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), gave a scathing review of the report.

“It is disgusting to advocate for cutting the pay for the people who care for our veterans, patrol our borders, and inspect our food, while showering the wealthy with billions in tax cuts,” Cox said.

Read the full report here

Posted in General News

Tags: DOD

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