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NEWS
November 30, 2010
I am a retired civil servant, logging 36 years of service. Proud of it too! So what is this nonsense about salary freezes being unfair ("200,000 in Md. face U.S. pay freeze," Nov. 30)? When I was on board, we all guessed that we would take a hit any time Washington needed extra cash. It was an unwritten law. We endured this "inconvenience" because we cherished our position in the work force. We got annual and sick leave, paid vacations that were increased over time to weeks, step increases for "good" service, and by God: "Try to fire me!"
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | October 6, 2014
Barack Obama had a choice between liberalism and the Democratic Party. He chose the latter and it cost him dearly. Liberalism, as an ideology, insists that government can do good and great things for the people and the world, if the people running the government are smart liberals.The Democratic Party says the exact same thing. But liberalism is an ideal, while the Democratic Party is that ideal's representative here in the real world, and in the real world political parties disappoint.
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NEWS
December 10, 2012
After a 45-year career in the private sector, first with Bethlehem Steel, then with Harley Davidson Motor Company and ending with General Motors, I lost wages, medical benefits and pensions when these companies were not making profits. Federal workers have not made any sacrifices that compare to losses in the private sector jobs ("Federal workers rally, underscore their sacrifices," Dec. 6). Most of them retire with 85 percent of their salary and medical benefits that they never paid into.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The workers who staff the federal government in Washington are whiter, richer, more educated and more liberal than the rest of the country, according to two political scientists at Johns Hopkins University —who warn of the potential for a troubling gap between the federal workforce and the people it serves. "It might be a problem," said Jennifer Bachner, director of the Hopkins' master's degree program in government analytics. "If the government looks very different demographically than the American people, the question is: Can they govern well?
NEWS
October 7, 2013
Dan Shannahan's letter ("Federal workers shouldn't complain about shutdown," Oct. 2) was as ignorant as it was callous. Writing that federal workers receive Flag Day as a holiday is blatantly incorrect and The Sun should not be publishing such a falsehood. At least he didn't mention Halloween. Yet I'm curious to know what he means by "all the federal holidays they enjoy that the civilian work force doesn't get. " Is he referring to New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.?
NEWS
November 30, 2010
Thank God for Social Security employee Lindsey Branch who said she would "just tighten a little more" when learning of the federal wage freeze ("200,000 in Md. face U.S. pay freeze," Nov. 30). Compare this to whiner John Gage, who heads the largest federal employee union, stating that the freeze treats federal workers as "sacrificial lambs. " He should check out page one of the Maryland Business section of Tuesday's Baltimore Sun. Jobless benefits ended Tuesday for those still without jobs but needing to care for their families.
NEWS
By John Frittze, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Federal employees will receive an e-mail today alerting them that furloughs are possible if Congress fails to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, union officials said Thursday. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the human relations arm of the federal government, informed labor leaders of the e-mail in a conference call Wednesday night. Officials stressed that no employment action would likely take place immediately. Maryland is home to about 300,000 federal workers -- roughly 10 percent of the state's civilian workforce -- and several economists have said that the failure to reach an agreement could have a disproportionate effect in the state.
NEWS
March 4, 2014
I have seen in The Sun several times lately stories about the hard times the poor federal employees are having ( "Half of federal employees considering leaving for the private sector, survey finds," Feb. 21). Let me tell you that they are some of the most cared for government employees of any type. Maryland is supposed to be the richest state with annual personal income of about $78,000 per household, according to the newspaper. Those annual salaries are a direct result of those federal workers who reside in Maryland, not the rest of us. I don't know anyone who makes that kind of money.
HEALTH
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2013
For three hours each work week, Bert Rice walks laps around Burba Lake at Fort Meade - part of a mission by the federal government to build a healthier workforce. Rice, 76, a retired Army colonel and former Anne Arundel County councilman working as a civilian on the garrison staff at Fort Meade, is one of thousands of federal workers who participate in health and fitness programs designed to lower the government's health care costs, increase productivity and better recruit and retain employees.
NEWS
October 3, 2013
Dan Shannahan's recent letter to the editor was sad ( "Mikulski picks the wrong side on Obamacare," Sept. 30). I'm sorry he has apparently suffered in the private sector, but his Schadenfreude at the hardships federal workers might be experiencing is just pathetic. The jealousy and resentment seething from his letter aren't really that surprising, of course, given that they are fostered by talk radio and the tea party, a standard tactic of demagogues who want people to blame others for their situation.
NEWS
Yvonne Wenger and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they have trust in federal employees , a spike in public confidence that some are attributing to last year's partial government shutdown. In a recent Battleground Poll by George Washington University, 22 percent of registered voters surveyed said they had "a lot" of confidence in federal workers , and 51 percent said they had "some. " The public's confidence in the federal workforce waned in 2012 and 2013 after scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service and the General Services Administration but rebounded after the shutdown last October.
NEWS
By John Fritze and By John Fritze | September 6, 2014
Federal employees will be allowed to carry money on their health savings accounts into the next year following a months-long lobbying effort by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and other lawmakers in the region. Some 323,000 federal workers set aside a portion of their earnings, tax-free, in flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, to pay for health expenses. Until now, they have forfeited money not spent by the end of the year. The Office of Personnel Management announced last week that employees would be allowed to carry over up to $500 beginning in 2015.
NEWS
By Will Fesperman, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
The Coast Guard is reconsidering plans to take on contractors to help process boat permits amid objections from a federal workers ' union. Officials at the Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center, which issues permits for boats, are preparing to collect a new fee from recreational boaters to raise what they say is badly needed revenue. To collect the fee, they planned to contract with outside workers. The American Federation of Government Employees says the plan would violate a long-standing ban on outsourcing tasks currently performed by federal workers . "An annual renewal user fee is just another user fee, not new work," AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. wrote in a letter this month to the Office of Management and Budget.
NEWS
July 9, 2014
Given that federal workers earn more money and have better benefits than private sector employees, and that the University of Maryland University College gets state and federal tax dollars, shouldn't the school offer discount tuition to all taxpayers ( "UMUC offers discount tuition to federal workers ," July 6)? Like most taxpayers, I have grown tired of organizations that receive my tax dollars to support their picking of winners and losers. J. Heming, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2014
Back in April, it seemed like a win-win deal. The federal government, with a workforce that has grown increasingly dissatisfied with training opportunities, negotiated a first-of-its-kind program: A Maryland college that caters to non-traditional students online would grant a big tuition discount for all 2.2 million federal workers — 25 percent off all undergraduate courses and most graduate courses — plus their spouses and legal dependents....
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Women who work for the federal government, on the whole, make less than their male co-workers - just as in the private sector. But among the federal workers , a new study shows, that earnings gap is narrowing. Between 1992 and 2012, according to the Office of Personnel Management, the difference between earnings for men and women shrank from 30 percent to 13 percent. On orders from President Barack Obama, the Office of Personnel Management reviewed salary data from 1992, 2002 and 2012 and looked at ways to reduce the gap. The study, "Governmentwide Strategy on Advancing Pay Equality in the Federal Government," was released this month.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday that the deal approved by Congress to reopen the federal government would also allow President Barack Obama to go forward with his plan to offer a 1 percent pay raise to federal employees. Federal employee pay has been frozen for three years. The Obama administration has attempted to offer small raises before, but the effort failed to capture support in Congress. In a joint statement, Mikulski and Sen. Ben Cardin said the agreement would allow the raises to take effect in January.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2011
WASHINGTON — As the pitched battle over the nation’s debt crisis shifts to the White House, federal employees in Maryland are bracing for a series of benefit cuts they say would have a devastating effect on the state’s economy. Months after more than 200,000 federal workers in Maryland were hit with a two-year pay freeze to help reduce a $1.3 trillion budget deficit, many say they now are worried lawmakers are eying government retirement plans and health benefits for cuts in the scramble to strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
NEWS
April 9, 2014
Perhaps lawmakers and federal employees should be less concerned about themselves and more concerned about the morale of their employers, the American taxpayers ("Half of federal workforce considering private sector," Feb. 23). Lawmakers passed the health care bill without reading it, promised we could keep our insurance and doctors and pledged to reduce insurance costs, none of which happened. Rep. Elijah Cummings didn't care about the 73,000 Marylanders who lost their health care.
NEWS
March 14, 2014
Sunday, March 16 Classical concert The Columbia Pro Cantare Chorus performs Rutter's "Requiem," featuring soprano Laura Whittenberger, organist Donald Fries and the Chamber Orchestra at 3 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3604 Chatham Road in Ellicott City. Advance tickets are $20, $18 for seniors and students; $22 and $20 at the door. Information: 410-799-9321, 301-854-0107 or procantare.org. Concert The Moody Symphonic Band performs at 6 p.m. at Columbia Presbyterian Church, 10001 Route 108. All are invited to this free concert that combines orchestral music, hymns and gospel arrangements.
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