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View Diary: Obama budget raises federal worker pension contributions but cuts pension payouts (82 comments)

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  •  Local gov't employees in the DC area (5+ / 0-)

    have been going through the same thing.  I'll never understand why public employees have become the bad guys.

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:29:15 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  All of the heat that should go to big banks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ramoth, Sunspots

      has been instead sent to govt employees because of course they are the bad guys!

    •  It's because public sector workers have been... (1+ / 0-)
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      portrayed as loafers. The only thing that they hear about the Fed is the fraud and bureaucratic horror stories in the press. They don't see all the things that are done on their behalf. Those are largely invisible. Since they are not allowed to talk to the press and defend themselves or toot their own horn, that's all the public sees.

      Nobody wants their hard earned tax dollars to go to a bunch of ne'er do wells. What they don't realize is that every dollar that they take away from the Federal workforce doesn't come back to them. It goes to the banksters and CEO's instead. If it's a choice between the banksters and the Federal Workers, the Federal workers are a better choice, because that money goes right back into the economy and services are performed for the common good.

      •  I almost understand (3+ / 0-)
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        waztec, Ramoth, Dancing Frog

        How federal employees become "loafers" or appear to be.  I'm a federal employee and we've had a hiring freeze for over a year in addition to no raise etc.  I'm now working what used to be three full time jobs and there's no extra pay coming in to compensate for the extra work.  Instead, we (the whole leadership part of the agency) get shaming emails  scolding us for not returning phone calls in a more timely manner or not meeting this or that measure.  I've begun to feel increasingly demoralized and overwhelmed and I can't help but realize that the next 2-4 hours I'm about to spend catching up on a Sunday when I could be relaxing aren't going to earn me any extra bonus points from anyone and not doing the extra work ain't going to get me fired.  I could do less, let things go, and things would fall apart, but I probably won't be fired. At most I won't get the tiny performance bonus at the end of the year and I'm not getting any raises anyway.  i can see how people might start to do less and less, and/or cross legal boundaries.  Not that I would cross legal or ethical boundaries, but it isn't hard to see how people might make the leap.  

        •  Hang in there. The people you help know-they know. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anna M

          Believe me they know . I try to screen my employees from the kind of pressure you are getting, but they are too smart.  They know.

          As for myself, I will NEVER do less.  It isn't in me. . .

          I will work weekends twice in the next to month (in addition to my normal 10-12 hour days)reaching out to people who I know will benefit from my assistance.  I do not do it for the politicians. (You would be absolutely flabbergasted at some of the people who have complimented my employees and I-flabbergasted.)  

          Oh, yes, I am paybanded.  That means no raises since I won my current job, and all the other stuff, including the furlough, which by the way frightens my employees.  I make about  $24,000.00 less than someone in my grade and seniority in G.S.  I work hard, because at the end of the day I have helped  just the same people we strive so hard to advocate for on this site.  I will retire soon (43 years service), assuming the Hope and Change guy hasn't slaughtered my pension too much, and I will work hard until that day.  The people I serve demand it.  

          Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

          by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:45:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Private sector workers have been in the situation (0+ / 0-)

          you describe for quite some time, increasing productivity is a cute euphemism for working more hours for the same money.....and the kicker is that they have no choice and they
          WILL  be fired.  They will probably be fired any way if their company can figure out a way to outsource their jobs. They receive no pensions, they don't exist outside the government.  I would love to contribute to a pension plan instead of a 401K or some other deferred BS plan but don't have the option.  Count your blessings and if it gets too much, quit and go to that private sector, it is much worse than what you are describing except maybe in Washington where Congress Critters and staffers leave to suck off the government tit and collect tons of money.  It is not the real world.....the real world is much tougher and unforgiving.

          •  So her pain is not real, because you say. . . (1+ / 0-)
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            . . .your pain is?

            Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

            by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:12:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is not my pain specifically but if you want the (0+ / 0-)

              answer to WHY people resent government workers, it is the answer.  The private working world is now MUCH WORSE than the government working world and everyone but government workers seem to recognize it.  People don't understand why they should pay for others to do better than they are doing, it is just not human nature.  I don't have a pension, you should not have a pension.  I do not have sick time, why should you.  I don't get all federal holidays off and have only 2 weeks of vacation(if I get any) why should I pay on my meager salary for you to have all those benefits.  It is not sitting well.  The anger would be better directed at forcing employers to provide those benefits but people feel powerless, it is easier to force others into their same situation with their vote. Which is what is happening and why Obama can feel comfortable proposing the cuts he is proposing, he knows it will be supported.

              •  Ok I get it. . . You are angry (1+ / 0-)
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                . . .Then I should be angry at private sector workers because, during my career, I made so much less than they did.  Ok. I guess I should be mad that when times are good I am belittled as dumb.  I get it, lets all get mad at each other and accomplish nothing.  I have not used 4125 hours of sick leave in my career. I guess that you will be mad at me because I am healthy, huh?

                Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

                by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:38:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You don't get it but you will soon. Add you (0+ / 0-)

                  pension and benefits, you did not make so much less, you just received deferred compensation but the good news is that unless our government goes bankrupt(and some local government have, all government is not created equal) you will not lose your pension and healthcare the way so many have when their companies stole the planned retirement.  

                  •  I am so sorry that you are angry. . . (1+ / 0-)
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                    . . .  I am not so sure that I will not lose everything. The pay I lost because of my choice will not be compensated by a pension (which has already been cut once).  And I am to old to compensate.    I cannot justify what has happened to you, but I did not cause it either.  Your anger is tiring and misdirected.

                    Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

                    by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:56:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  An example: (0+ / 0-)

                      My son's girlfriend works in the private sector doing the same job I did, albeit hers was on a smaller scale.  She makes (after you adjust for inflation) about 35% more than I did.

                      Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

                      by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:03:54 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Does she get a pension and healthcare and all the (0+ / 0-)

                        time off that you get as a public employee?  Here is a NY Times comparison.  Enough said...

                        Public sector versus private sector

                        I am not angry but you are, if you feel that you are so underpaid and mistreated, quit and go to the private sector....I guarantee that there will be 1000 people vying for your job, maybe more.

                        •  She gets great benefits (0+ / 0-)

                          Ok, I think you are right.  I'll quit-soon.  But I will not seek a job with an employer.  I have been told  that I can make a great deal of money self employed, because my expertise is in demand and I out competed my private sector competitors in college.  I suppose you will still be mad, though.  I think private sector treatment of employees is abysmal.  We agree.  I wish I could help.  I see my sons suffer and it guts me. We are on the same side.

                          Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

                          by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:20:20 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We are on the same side. My point is that people (0+ / 0-)

                            in the private sector are in a GREAT deal of pain, the job insecurity is one of the most painful things out there, I watch people go from job to job, especially young people.  It used to be 2 years was considered standard for a job change, now 6 months is more common....and if you miss a step, you could end up in an abyss.  If you decided to consult, just a word of advice, not as easy as it used to be, the lean times are leaner and miss a step and you are off the list.  I have a friend that has done it successfully, the secret, work for insurance companies and their law firms, they have VERY deep pockets but actually getting paid is almost a FULL time job.

                          •  My sons hurt-they hurt!. . . (0+ / 0-)

                            . . one has worked 20 jobs since high school.  He is always promised full time work and always ends up working just a few hours part time.  The other works two jobs, one with a few benefits the other without.  He is always working.  They are in their thirties and I still help them keep their 15 year old cars running.  I love my sons and it makes me physically angry that they suffer.  As I said. . .The same side.

                            Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

                            by waztec on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:35:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  It's a little different for Federal Workers... (0+ / 0-)

                          If you look at the report prepared for the CRS entitled "Federal Employment: Pay and Pension Increases since 1969," the wages for Federal Workers rose 428%, while average income in the private sector rose 632% between 1969 and 2010. For the same period, the CPI-W rose 477%. So, Federal pay increases didn't even keep pace with inflation.


          •  I think it depends on the field (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not in a field that can be easily outsourced.  My friends who went to grad school when I did are generally doing not quite as well as me in terms of take home pay, but most actually have better benefits than I do - more payed time off, the same holidays, more flexibility in their workday, and better matching in 401K's.  My pension will be 30% of my highest three earning years and I haven't really been able to put as much away into the Flex spending (the government's version of 401K) as I'd have liked, so I probably won't be retiring before 67, if I can hang in there that long.  Don't get me wrong, I know the benefits of working in a federal job and it's why I haven't left, though I do look and would leave for the right job.  While, in my field, I make somewhat more than my peers in the private sector, I can tell you for a fact that nurses and doctors make less and it's why it's very difficult to recruit the best and the brightest to federal jobs.  Everyone is feeling the pain and I think the answer isn't to say federal employees should suffer more because everyone else is, but to fix it for everyone.

        •  The President should be supporting Federal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dancing Frog

          workers, not undermining them.  His position is disgusting.

    •  all it takes is (0+ / 0-)

      one guy leaning on a shovel as you drive by a 3 mile long construction zone and bam, everyone's taxes are paying for that!

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