Did You Know There is Something Called the Federal Salary Council?

Ed Lasky
The Federal Salary Council is one of those obscure federal agencies that operates behind the scenes and performs a vital role. In this case, recommending raises for federal employees that are supposed to ensure that government salaries for workers in particular areas are comparable to private pay salaries in the same  areas.

From the Washington Post:
The nine-member council meets at least twice a year to determine locality pay, recommend raises for the president to put in his budget, and devise a "salary gap" between feds and employees in the private sector doing similar jobs. Outside experts in labor relations, unions and the executive branch are represented.

This should surprise few people: the board is stacked with those who will push for higher raises. Barack Obama has just appointed or renewed the appointment of 5 members, all  whom presumably will support higher salaries. Among the nine members are three academics and six representatives of federal labor unions and other employee organizations representing large numbers of government employees.

So we have nine people out of a board of nine people who would be expected to support higher salaries for all federal workers -- after all, six of them represent workers . As for the three academics, does anyone care to wager that they wouldn't almost always support higher salaries?

Granted, this is an advisory board created in 1990. The composition of the board (6 from labor groups, 3 academics) is part of the provisions of the law. But notice any representatives missing? Wouldn't it be sensible if we had business representatives or taxpayer representatives who could also weigh in on recommendation regarding salary levels?

If salary levels are supposed to be comparable to private sector salaries, why do we have study after study pointing out that federal workers earn substantially more than private workers doing the same level of work?

Clearly, this board is not fulfilling its responsibilities and has not been for years as this salary disparity developed.

And we can be sure that Barack Obama will not fix the problem.
The Federal Salary Council is one of those obscure federal agencies that operates behind the scenes and performs a vital role. In this case, recommending raises for federal employees that are supposed to ensure that government salaries for workers in particular areas are comparable to private pay salaries in the same  areas.

From the Washington Post:
The nine-member council meets at least twice a year to determine locality pay, recommend raises for the president to put in his budget, and devise a "salary gap" between feds and employees in the private sector doing similar jobs. Outside experts in labor relations, unions and the executive branch are represented.

This should surprise few people: the board is stacked with those who will push for higher raises. Barack Obama has just appointed or renewed the appointment of 5 members, all  whom presumably will support higher salaries. Among the nine members are three academics and six representatives of federal labor unions and other employee organizations representing large numbers of government employees.

So we have nine people out of a board of nine people who would be expected to support higher salaries for all federal workers -- after all, six of them represent workers . As for the three academics, does anyone care to wager that they wouldn't almost always support higher salaries?

Granted, this is an advisory board created in 1990. The composition of the board (6 from labor groups, 3 academics) is part of the provisions of the law. But notice any representatives missing? Wouldn't it be sensible if we had business representatives or taxpayer representatives who could also weigh in on recommendation regarding salary levels?

If salary levels are supposed to be comparable to private sector salaries, why do we have study after study pointing out that federal workers earn substantially more than private workers doing the same level of work?

Clearly, this board is not fulfilling its responsibilities and has not been for years as this salary disparity developed.

And we can be sure that Barack Obama will not fix the problem.