The pay freeze is like a sales tax that hurts people with lower incomes more than those with higher incomes. The managers who are not in the union and who have higher incomes are not affected as severely as the union employees.
We have already given up pay by absorbing higher premium costs and higher co-pays. Our health benefits are no longer as good as what is offered at some private sector jobs.
A pay freeze may reduce the labor cost for the union employees, but I think we would achieve larger savings by reviewing all of the field office management staffing. We could find greater savings by increasing the number of employees per manager and eliminating manager positions. In my division, we have two level 14 managers managing 7 employees. Where do you see that ratio in the private sector?
Union employees can assist with lowering the cost of running federal agencies. Give us a venue for reporting some of the abusive spending practices that some managers use. Last year our two managers attended several out-of-state trainings and meetings. Why did both have to go?
Some of us have conflict of interest laws to contend with. We can’t just go out and get a second job to offset the pay freeze. A private sector employee whose hours are cut back by one company can go out and get a second job with another employer.
Enacting the pay freeze without a full review of the agencies is only hurting morale. We’ve been asked to do more work with less pay, but I don’t see the managers doing more work. I just see them jumping in their BMWs and taking vacations in one of their several homes across the country.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hartford Field Office