The term “government employee” has become synonymous with lazy, subpar, bureaucratic nonsense, and a host of other unflattering adjectives. If you are like me and deal with various federal, county, and state offices on a daily basis, it can be rather frustrating. While there are certainly good folks to be sure, it seems in some offices and entities that is just simply not the norm.
Now President Donald Trump is proposing to make some much-needed changes to the federal civilian workforce with his 2019 budget. To those employees not measuring up or pulling their weight, this could spell doom for them. The budget is set to be released on Monday and is purported to contain some of the biggest reforms to the government workforce in decades. President Trump’s efforts to wrangle the bureaucracy fulfill a key campaign promise of the businessman president, who pledged a hiring freeze to shrink the cost of government and reduce regulation.
Among the changes proposed:
- Creation of a bonus pool to reward good employees.
- An end to so-called “step increases,” pay hikes of 3% to 5% that 99.7% of federal workers get even if they are poor performers.
- Changes to the overall pay package, with a focus on generous retirement benefits, that align federal pay to the private world.
- Retraining of employees.
- Redeploying workers where they are needed.
The White House is purposing to change how more than 1.5 million federal workers are paid with a merit-based system. The proposed system would emphasize performance-based raises instead of the current system that generally increases pay based on tenure. The proposal would slow tenure-based increases, generating $10 billion over 10 years for performance-based payments. Then the subject of benefits, now currently 47% higher than in the private workforce, according to a congressional report, will be trimmed back in line with the private sector.
Many are touting it as “the most ambitious proposal to overhaul the civil service in 40 years” as President Trump proposes what is the norm in many private sector companies. Simply put, he is proposing to “hire the best and fire the worst.”