Author Topic: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown  (Read 12366 times)

Left

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2015, 11:19:20 AM »
Now Boehner can join the gop presidential race

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2015, 09:35:33 PM »
Now Boehner can join the gop presidential race

Oh dear....

libertarian4321

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2015, 08:42:50 AM »
Doesn't a "Federal Shut Down" usually result in FREE TAXPAYER FUNDED VACATION for already overpaid and under worked Federal Employees?  Y'all ought to be dancing in the aisles at the thought of yet another "shut down."

I know it might take a couple of weeks to get the check for that free funded vacation, but for any government worker who isn't living on the ragged edge financially, I would think a "government shutdown" would be a reason to party.

horsepoor

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2015, 09:13:05 AM »
Well, Libertarian, some of us actually care about our jobs and are not happy about the disruption.  I get plenty of PTO with my lovely benefits package. ;)

My husband and I are both federal employees.  Last time, I stayed home while he had to go to work with no pay, and be threatened with AWOL if he took previously-scheduled annual leave, or needed to take sick leave to go to a previously scheduled doctor's appointment.  His agency really bungled the entire shutdown operation and put all the employees on defensive and torpedoed any morale that was left.

I am scheduled to travel to an important meeting on October 5th.  It will be a real setback if that meeting cannot occur and we have to reschedule due to a shutdown.

Money-wise, we have plenty of ready cash, but most of what is in my account is allocated to a horse I'm buying after a few months of searching, so if a shutdown does occur I may have to get a little creative.  I definitely won't send the full purchase price until we see what happens on Sept. 30th.

Last time I was more worried about money, but I spent the time on a landscaping project at home.  If I hadn't been as worried about pinching pennies, I would have rented some equipment to get more work done during the shutdown.  This time around I'll use the time as I see fit to do some projects around the house even if it costs a bit in materials or whatever.

Cranberries

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2015, 10:29:12 AM »
I am a federal seasonal (temporary) employee.  My season ends in 3 weeks, and I am trying to wrap up my field work before my end date. If I am furloughed the research I am doing will not get done, as they do not have the funding to keep me past mid October, nor the humanpower to do the work without me. My boss tells me he thinks I will not just be laid off two weeks early, and I hope he is correct. As a seasonal it would be a serious financial hardship to lose those two and a half weeks of work. I would not starve, but it would certainly reduce how much money I can put in an IRA by a pay period.

I am not worrying about it too much, as there is nothing I can do about it, but I am going to do everything I can this week to make sure that all of my work is organized and documented so that my boss will be able to sort through it easily if my last day of work is Wednesday.

It is also worth noting that the position I am currently in has a shorter season than the work needs, and this is probably a direct result of the last sequester. Funding was never restored to it's former level so the entire office runs on hiring people a grade lower then they should be and trying to fill the gaps with unpaid interns.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 10:31:52 AM by Botanist »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2015, 10:31:10 AM »
Well, Libertarian, some of us actually care about our jobs and are not happy about the disruption.  I get plenty of PTO with my lovely benefits package. ;)

My husband and I are both federal employees.  Last time, I stayed home while he had to go to work with no pay, and be threatened with AWOL if he took previously-scheduled annual leave, or needed to take sick leave to go to a previously scheduled doctor's appointment.  His agency really bungled the entire shutdown operation and put all the employees on defensive and torpedoed any morale that was left.

I am scheduled to travel to an important meeting on October 5th.  It will be a real setback if that meeting cannot occur and we have to reschedule due to a shutdown.

Money-wise, we have plenty of ready cash, but most of what is in my account is allocated to a horse I'm buying after a few months of searching, so if a shutdown does occur I may have to get a little creative.  I definitely won't send the full purchase price until we see what happens on Sept. 30th.

Last time I was more worried about money, but I spent the time on a landscaping project at home.  If I hadn't been as worried about pinching pennies, I would have rented some equipment to get more work done during the shutdown.  This time around I'll use the time as I see fit to do some projects around the house even if it costs a bit in materials or whatever.

Oh man, I completely forgot about the cancelled leave for essential employees.  We have our first ever two week vacation booked and paid for (non-refundable) for the first two weeks of November.  Hopefully everything is resolved by then but if it is not we could be looking at a big problem. 

Also, Libertarian, I wouldn't paint all federal workers with the same brush.  Sure, there are some jobs where there is no comparable private sector work for the level of skill, education and pay.  The majority of skilled jobs, however, particularly those that require higher education, pay significantly less than the private sector, or cap out faster than the private sector.  In other words, the worker might make more than private sector for the first 3-5 years but after that, private sector is making way more.

Also, I challenge your notion that gov't workers are under worked.  Many that are non-unionized work nights and weekends, 50-60 hour weeks for no overtime.  My fed husband is actually working right now (a Sunday) (as am I).  I'm private sector, he's public. 

sol

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2015, 10:31:58 AM »
I know it might take a couple of weeks to get the check for that free funded vacation, but for any government worker who isn't living on the ragged edge financially, I would think a "government shutdown" would be a reason to party.

You've heard form a lot of federal employees in this thread.  How many of them sound like they are partying?

It's not even about the money, because most people here are financially secure enough to survive without a few paychecks.  It's about the disruption to your work and all of the things that won't get done.  Do you think Congress lowers my agency's performance expectations when nobody works for three weeks out of 52?  I have the exact same amount of work to do, I just get less time to do it in.  It  sucks.

And that supposed time off?  You are required to be available on a 12 hour recall, and there is no communication network for notifying employees of when to return so you basically have to watch the news 24/7 to find out if you're working today or not.  Meanwhile, the work continues to pile up back at the office, so your first day back isn't exactly something to look forward to.  Oh look, I have 835 emails to read through...

Cranberries

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2015, 10:45:14 AM »
I'll be doing field work next week.  I'm preparing for a possible shutdown by making sure I am entirely cut off from all communications before it could start.

Hah! I like this strategy. It's a pity it isn't feasible for my current job.

horsepoor

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2015, 11:05:16 AM »
I know it might take a couple of weeks to get the check for that free funded vacation, but for any government worker who isn't living on the ragged edge financially, I would think a "government shutdown" would be a reason to party.

You've heard form a lot of federal employees in this thread.  How many of them sound like they are partying?

It's not even about the money, because most people here are financially secure enough to survive without a few paychecks.  It's about the disruption to your work and all of the things that won't get done.  Do you think Congress lowers my agency's performance expectations when nobody works for three weeks out of 52?  I have the exact same amount of work to do, I just get less time to do it in.  It  sucks.

And that supposed time off?  You are required to be available on a 12 hour recall, and there is no communication network for notifying employees of when to return so you basically have to watch the news 24/7 to find out if you're working today or not.  Meanwhile, the work continues to pile up back at the office, so your first day back isn't exactly something to look forward to.  Oh look, I have 835 emails to read through...

Yep, I went for a run after my last post and thought about this.  Last shutdown, we came in on Oct 1st to shut down our offices, leave out of office messages on our voicemail, collect plants and so on.  The next day, a skeleton crew of staff was called back to work on a special project for a court-ordered deadline that they would not meet if the shutdown was more than a week.  Since it was an unsupported skeleton crew, they still fell behind, so when I returned to the office, I spent most of my time for the rest of the calendar year helping them to meet their deadline, which then pushed me further behind on my work.  And much of my work revolves around allocating funding to projects, so when I get into a time crunch, that means that I have not been able to optimize allocation of tax payer funds to complete the most worthy projects, and it means that I'm not providing technical reviews that I normally do, so other offices' work quality suffers.

SCUBAstache

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2015, 11:08:27 AM »
Another Fed here. Normally, I'd be all about possible free time to bum around the house, but the timing on this one would really mess up some important stuff I need to get done. I do actually (mostly) like my job and want to do it well.

But for reasons already mentioned, I don't think it will happen this time around. If it does, shouldn't affect me much financally unless it went on for several weeks. Might have to suspend the weekly Betterment contributions. I was working overseas during the last one and continued to work and get paid, thankfully.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2015, 11:29:18 AM »
Okay, I need more info on this cancelled leave business.  I found a revised 2013 OPM guidance that essential workers who can't come to work (say they were already scheduled for surgery or something) can be furloughed.  This made me feel better.  I'm less concerned about ensuring my husband gets paid during our pre-scheduled vacation but making sure he isn't forced to cancel it.  This was a 10 year anniversary non-mustachian purchase so it would be a huge deal to lose it.  We have travel insurance but I doubt it covers this contingency.

I get that paid leave is cancelled because of the anti-deficiency act.  They can't be accruing an obligation to pay during shutdown.  But what if he were non-essential and furloughed.  When the shutdown ends, couldn't his agency just approve him for paid leave then?  So if we leave on a Monday (under paid leave) and on Weds gov't shuts down and he is on Furlough and it reopens on Friday, they could just make him on paid leave as of that date, right? This 12 hour recall makes it sound like you would have to come back in first but that makes no sense.  Anyone know what happened to non-military fed employees that went into AWOL status last time?

I read that the OPM change occurred because employers were threatening employees with termination who were legitimately too sick to come in or had some other prior obligation that could not be rescheduled (birth of a child for example.) 

purple monkey

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2015, 12:09:19 PM »
Except for contractors, I don't know ANY government employees that missed a single dollar.

I know at least a dozen folks that are civil servants in various major departments.

Not sure why it is a concern now, since even folks that were on vacation during this time got reimbursed for their leave they used.

Win, win for the civil servant.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2015, 12:13:04 PM »
Blond Lawyer, I am military, but I was working alongside many civilian employees in 2013. Anyone with a leave chit submitted and signed prior to 1-Oct was allowed to take their leave (ie: be greater than 4 hours from duty station and not on 12 hr recall). Exempted employees with prior Dr's appointments, etc were not threatened with AWOL.

I do have to add the caveat that we may have unknowingly broken the law. At the time, no one really knew wtf to do with special cases. We tried to take the most merciful approach. Whatever Agency Horsepoor's husband was working for, they sure sound like asses. Sadly, I think if we DO shutdown, there will be even less guidance than 2013, because no one seems to believe it will really happen.
 

Left

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #63 on: September 27, 2015, 12:18:06 PM »
I'd be more bummed out at it missing up my TSP contributions :( I have it set up so it maxes with all the payments...

robartsd

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2015, 11:22:58 AM »
Government shutdown hurts taxpayers a lot due to all the inefficencies it creates. It is unfair to wholy blame a shutdown on either side of an argument where neither side is willing to compromise - one must conclude that both sides view the shutdown as preferrable to compromise (one could debate if that preference is political or ideological).

Fortunately for mustachian goverment employees, the shutdown is an annoyance rather than the emergency that it can be to those who live paycheck to paycheck. For some it may even be an opportunity to work on personal projects at home with the chance of not being negatively impacted finacially; but for all the uncertainty is likely a source of some stress. I don't think it is reasonable for employees who must work during the shutdown to worry about if they will get paid for their work (no one has enough political capital to deny back pay for work performed), but I also don't think it is reasonable for employees who are forced not to work to count on receiving back pay until it is officially granted.

beltim

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Re: Federal Employee Mustachians and Potential Government Shutdown
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2015, 12:04:19 PM »
Government shutdown hurts taxpayers a lot due to all the inefficencies it creates. It is unfair to wholy blame a shutdown on either side of an argument where neither side is willing to compromise - one must conclude that both sides view the shutdown as preferrable to compromise (one could debate if that preference is political or ideological).

This line of thought suggests that a mugging is really a compromise - the person being mugged does "choose" to give up their money instead of getting murdered.  But one side forces the other to make that choice.

Only one political party actually advocates shutting down the government.