Financial incentives are still available during pay freeze

| January 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Department of Defense civilian employees affected by the federal pay freeze for 2011 and 2012 will still have the opportunity to receive performance awards, promotions and normal longevity increases, a senior defense official said, Jan. 10.

Pasquale Tamburrino Jr., deputy undersecretary of defense for civilian personnel policy, said that senior leaders are working to ensure employees are treated fairly during the freeze.

“We value the contributions of our career federal employees, and we value their service to the nation. Nothing has changed there,” he said.

The emphasis has been on ensuring all federal employees receive equal treatment. Defense leaders, he noted, have been “very clear” in directing that the freeze should affect all employees equally.

“Whether you’re the most junior civil servant on the first day of the job or you’re a member of the executive leadership team, it applies to you,” he said.

Tamburrino said he encourages managers to use the tools that always have been and still are available to reward employees.

“When it’s appropriate, you give somebody a performance award,” he said. “If you tell them the organization has five or six goals, and they do a lot of heavy lifting to help you get to those goals, then I think you should sit down as a leader and say, ‘We have to recognize that.’”

Most employees, he said, want three things: clear guidance on the management team’s priorities, the tools and resources necessary to complete their work, and coaching and feedback.

“Financial compensation is important because it is. We all have financial obligations that have to be satisfied,” he said, “but what’s really important, as well, is that you want to tell your employees, ‘You’re doing a really fine job.’”

President Barack Obama announced his intent for a two-year pay freeze for federal civilian workers, Nov. 29. Congress approved the proposal, and Obama signed it into law, Dec. 22.

The Office of Personnel Management issued a memorandum, Dec. 30, to heads of executive departments and agencies, detailing how the freeze applies to the federal work force in accordance with existing law and presidential guidance. The Defense Department issued guidance in line with OPM’s that same day.

“It’s a response to the difficulties the country is facing, and I think what’s really good about it is that it’s universal,” Tamburrino said. “You have to have a very clear understanding of what’s in and what’s out, because that’s what affects employees.”


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Category: Army News Service, News

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