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Update: Office politics, the NSPS transition and available tax credits for retirees

Dorothy Ramienski | Internet Editor | FederalNewsRadio

March 10, 2010

There are a lot of questions about pay & benefits that have been cropping up lately, and Senior Correspondent Mike Causey spoke with three experts to get the answers for you.

His guests on this week’s show were: Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executive Association; Jessica Klement of the Federal Managers Association; and Dan Adcock, legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE).

Update: Are career civil service employees and political appointees getting along?

Carol Bonosaro, president of the SEA, said they have gotten reports about disagreements, but the information is hard to validate.

“The problem with those reports is it’s very difficult to get folks who are always willing to talk about it and try and guage how large a problem it is. We’re just aware of one spot where we think that there were some reassignments done inappropriately and we are addressing that with the agency in question and with OPM. We always hope that we won’t hear reports like this because we know that the key to making any administration successful is to recognize the value of career executives and their ability to help make things work.”

She said it is also hard to figure out whether this transition has been more difficult than the last two, which happened during President George W. Bush’s terms, mainly because most of the evidence about office conflict is anecdotal.

She did say, however, that her organization has been more concerned with the public’s attacks on federal pay.

As Federal News Radio told you on The Daily Debrief last week, a recent article compared the monetary compensation of federal employees to their private sector counterparts. The data showed that, on average, feds tend to make more.

Bonasaro said it all depends on how one looks at the numbers.

“The difficulty with this — I hardly know where to start — there is a crazy quilt of personnel systems now with a lot of flexibilities. When you take gross data, it’s very easy to reach an appropriate conclusion. . . . The devil is in the details and I hope that those kinds of attacks are going to be answered quickly because it does tap into a lot of Americans’ unhappiness with the economy — and it is misleading.”


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