President Wants to Gradually Move to Merit Pay for Federal Workers


AP reports that the President wants to change the way 1.5 million federal workers are paid. Instead of paying them according to a tenure pay scale, he wants it gradually switched to merit-based.

Senior officials with the Office of Management and Budget said these changes would be proposed as part of President Donald Trump’s 2019 budget plan, to be released Monday.

The proposal would slow tenure-based increases, generating $10 billion over 10 years for performance-based payments.

Many of the clerical jobs have been automated and people who get bad performance reviews could be fired.

They are looking at changing the pension plan to a defined-contribution retirement plan. A lot of businesses are going in the same direction.

Some of the changes would require action by Congress. Since the Senate is useless, it’s not likely that will happen. They need more courageous Republicans in the Senate.

The left – the union – says “the structure and compensation in a federal workforce that has been something of a bulwark against the increase in economic inequality.”

That’s debatable.

Federal employees with a high school diploma or less earn on average 53 percent more than peers with similar education levels in the private sector, according to a 2017 study by the Congressional Budget Office. College graduates earn about 21 percent more than their private-sector counterparts, while people with advanced degrees earn 18 percent less in the government.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt expanded unions during his long administration but they were private sector unions. He did not approve of public sector unions.

FDR said, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service…Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, but I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector…A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.”

Governments have no competition and higher wages and benefits are unavoidable. Guaranteed employment regardless of performance is also unavoidable.

Collective bargaining, which mandates the withdrawal of union dues from employee paychecks, is a major problem because the money is used to support the political party that will do their bidding. Public sector unions corrupt the political process. They force government and public sector unions to form a symbiotic relationship with each dependent on the other.

Government unions in states like New York and California are causing serious problems. The pensions are promised but not paid for in the future. Another problem is they collect money from dues they then use to feed Democrat politicians who in turn give them what they want, even if it’s unaffordable.

As we watch the corruption in the federal government unfold, we can see no one is ever fired. That needs to change. Is this the way to do it?




  1. I’m not so sure that I agree with that totally. They already have a form of merit pay with grades and step increases. They also have COLA’s which have been basically nil the last eight years and then usually during a Presidential election to garner votes. But I will admit that the Federal Government would rather promote their mistakes then fire them. One can see that now with the FBI and DOJ.

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