Federal agencies looking for ways to cut personnel costs are expected to crack down on the amounts paid for overtime and holiday pay once they take a look at new data from the Office of Personnel Management. They show that premium pay for overtime, holidays, hazardous duty, incentive pay and Sunday and evening work is costing the government an average of $15,303,545.21 every day.
Most of the premium pay comes in labor-intenstive agencies that have round-the-clock staffing for law enforcement, inspection or national defense reasons. Others are required to handle emergencies such as fires, flood or other natural disasters or cope with such special problems as the mail volume before and during holidays.
Government offices are under orders to cut their budgets by 4.3 percent between now and Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Beginning Oct. 1, the deficit reduction act will require even deeper spending cuts in most federal agencies.
Many agencies anxious to avoid layoffs have imposed partial or total hiring freezes and limited travel and other personnel items, to hold the line on a federal payroll that exceeds $84 billion a year.
A new report by the Office of Personnel Management, based on government costs for fiscal years 1983 and 1984, shows that premium pay costs jumped 20 percent in one year, chiefly because salaries went up. OPM said agencies spent slightly more than $5.5 billion on premium pay costs in each of the two years, most of it in the form of overtime, which accounted for about 4.4 percent of the payroll.
Most of the premium pay costs come from the civilian side of the Defense Department and the U.S. Postal Service, which together account for 62 percent of the government's 2.7 million workers.
According to OPM's data for the two fiscal years studied, the largest single overtime bill came from the U.S. Postal Service, which spent about $1.9 billion in a year. The Navy was next, with about $575 million in each of the years surveyed.
The Army paid $230 million in civilian overtime, followed by the Department of Health and Human Services ($117 million), Air Force ($109 million), and then Agriculture, Treasury, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and the Tennessee Valley Authority, all with overtime bills ranging from $60 million to $84 million a year.
The OPM report said that the use of sick leave -- employes earn 13 days a year -- has remained steady, with the average employe taking about nine days a year. OPM said employes' use of annual leave increased slightly (from 19.76 days to 19.79 days) during the period surveyed.
The study shows that government employes "lost" $82 million worth of annual leave during 1982, and forfeited an additional $81 million during the 1983 calendar year. Most of the leave was lost because employes couldn't, or didn't, use all the vacation time due them. In most cases, workers are allowed to carry over only 240 hours of annual leave from one year to the next.
In addition, the report doesn't list the value of unpaid overtime that employes worked voluntarily.
Justice Department's Federal Prison Industries Inc. is looking for a Grade 11 print plant manager to work in Ray Brook, N.Y. Call Cornell Rowbotham, 724-3002.
Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms wants a GS 12 contract specialist. Call 377-9861.
Treasury's Financial Management Service needs a GS 13 support services supervisor. Call Pamela Locks, 566-8301.