Politics

Union Bemoans Bonus Cap For Gov’t Workers Making 6 Figures

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One of the largest unions representing federal employees says it’s “unfair” to raise the cap on senior executives’ bonuses, but not bonuses for all rank-and-file bureaucrats who have made a “financial sacrifice” for the country.

National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) President Anthony Reardon wrote to Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Chief Beth Cobert in a Wednesday letter obtained by GovExec. Reardon asked that the new OPM guidance increasing top bonus rates for Senior Executive Service (SES) employees apply to all federal workers.

“A policy that limits the lifting of the 2010 so-called ‘awards cap’ and calls for ‘providing substantial monetary awards’ solely for senior-level employees would lead to significant morale issues across the federal workplace, and quite simply would be both unfair, and misguided,” Reardon wrote.

New OPM guidance allows agencies to give Wall Street-grade bonuses to the top 1 percent of federal employees — as much as 7.5 percent of their salaries, up from 4.8 percent, while the rest of the federal workforce must make do with bonuses capped at 1 percent. SES base salaries are as high as $181,000, which translates to a $13,500 bonus. (RELATED: Fed Bureaucrats Are Sure To Fume Over This Reform Plan From Trump)

Reardon bemoaned the three-year pay freeze imposed on federal employees from 2011 to 2013, and the 3.3 percent “cumulative” pay increase over the last three years. He said union members are “finding it harder and harder to simply ‘keep up.'”

But rank-and-file federal employees aren’t exactly living in poverty — the average federal employee earns $84,154, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data analyzed by the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards. That doesn’t include the $35,781 the average employee receives in benefits.

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