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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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Federal workers to have pay frozen

President Obama is expected to announce this morning a pay freeze for federal employees, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting. The televised announcement is expected to come at 11:35 a.m. Given the number of Fredericksburg-area residents that work for the federal government, there is sure to be a lot of interest in the details locally.

UPDATE: Click here to read CNBC’s report of the announcement and here to see the official announcement from the White House.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2010/11/29/federal-workers-to-have-pay-frozen/

  • Wilson

    About time!

  • A Fed

    Sounds like a bad “one size fits all” solution to me. The real issue isn’t the Federal salaries, but the amount of money spent on “things we think we need”. Or usually, “things some Congressman wants for his favorite Defense or IT contractor”.

    I don’t think this will have the desired effect. I work in DoD and know that the impact of a change like this is to drive the good workers out of the Federal service into the contractors. And I’ve never seen anyone ever get a pay cut moving from the government to a contractor! So this will end up costing the government more once they pay the contractor a profit on top of the increased salary and the increased facilities cost.

    Is this just pandering to the tea party?

  • John

    does this include senators and the house of representatives

  • Thom

    Pay freezes aren’t the answer. Looking at expensive Inttergovernmental Appointments and the cost associated with these appointments, especially in the research arena is a start. The next issue regarding govenment spending is the per diem rates for federal employees on travel status. Usually the higher level officials travel constantly and it costs the U.S. citizens a fortune on the per diem. Example the per diem rate in Washington D.C. is well over $150 per day. How much can one spend on meals and incidentals that would cost that amount. Specialty pay, performance bonuses etc. cost the government a small fortune. Let’s address that for starters

  • John

    It’s funny, when the job market was strong along with the economy, nobody cared about government workers. Some people worked for private companies and made tons of money, while others worked hard and earned a modest pay working for the government. It was have job security making average money or work for a private company and make a whole lot. It was a gamble for some that failed. But now that it failed, the government workers who never complained making average salaries and being punished. How about letting them have their pay increase, and allowing them to put more money back into the economy with spending. What a joke.

  • bhaas

    I found it interesting that the Presidents first “economic recovery” measure was to “freeze” federal pay. Could this not have waited to see what happens later this week to the recommendations of the Commission on Debt results? I think this represents political grandstanding. And John asks a very pertinent question; does it include congress as well as executive levels and political appointees?

  • bhaas

    Re: my comment about political grandstanding….note, that this freeze does NOT include the military.

  • A Fed

    I’ve been talking some more with folks who have been asking up the chain. It appears the details are that COLAs are frozen, but not promotions, step increases, and merit increases (these usually average out to a net 0 when you consider the people retiring each year at the top of the pay scale).

    Congressional pay raises are up to Congress, not the President, and they aren’t allowed (the latest Constitutional amendment) to vote on pay for the current Congress anyway, so those changes take up to two years before they are effective.

    Given the additional input I’ve received, it sounds like the “freeze” is a preventative measure prior to issuing big cuts in Federal contracts, which is what you have to do to truly reduce the budget.

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