Prepare to hunker down in 2011
Those who represent federal employees (both union types and lawmakers) squeezed a lot of solid gains for feds from this outgoing Congress, especially in terms of improvements to retirement benefits, and—depending on your point of view—the demise of the National Security Personnel System.
Over the last six to nine months, things were markedly slower legislatively speaking, with the notable exception of this week’s passage of the long-awaited federal telework bill, which—pending President Obama’s signature—will kick in sometime in mid-2011.
But the new Congress will be different. Early indications are that the main task lying ahead of those who champion the rights of federal employees will be to hang onto the gains granted by the last Congress—and to hold the line on everything else.
Amid the anti-government sentiment out there, and echoed in the rhetoric of some politicians, “everything” means pretty much everything—including pay, retirement benefits, and federal jobs themselves.
From a PR perspective, sometimes the best strategy is to keep mum and not amplify an opponent’s message. Not this time. Federal employee organizations, sympathetic members of Congress, and administration officials like OPM Director John Berry will have their work cut out for them next year, speaking out to make sure feds get a fair shake in Congress and the media.
Hang onto your hats.
Posted by Phil Piemonte on Nov 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM