Some Performance-Based Raises Exempt from Federal Pay Freeze

Susan Hall
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Workforce Challenges in 2011

Despite the improving economy, we'll continue to struggle with difficult workforce challenges in 2011.

Given the federal government's trouble in retaining workers once it's finally able to hire them, here's a bit of good news.


According to a Dec. 30 memo from the Office of Personnel Management, some performance-based raises will be exempt from President Obama's two-year pay freeze on civilian federal workers' salaries. But the pool of money for those raises will be smaller, reports Recruitment, retention incentives, overtime pay and performance bonuses are among the exemptions, according to the OPM memo. It lists "senior-level and scientific and professional" workers among those who will be affected by the freeze.


But as USA Today explains it, there will be lots of ways that federal workers will still get pay increases-though across-the-board raises are out and agencies are warned to make sure raises are based on employee performance.


Blogger Don Tennant has warned that failure to adequately reward your high performers will only encourage them to jump ship. That's especially true in IT, where the private sector offers lucrative job opportunities for dissatisfied workers.


And considering that Uncle Sam is playing catch-up in cyber security, this is good news indeed.

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