Senate-House conferees resume work next week on a budget for the new fiscal year that will determine what kind of pay raise civil servants get in January, and how government employes are likely to be furloughed or fired for economy reasons.
Each house has passed a budget for the fiscal year beginning in October. The next step is to come up with a compromise that Congress and the White House will approve.
The House budget would give government workers a 3 percent raise in January, while the Senate version would give them a raise of about 2 percent. Federal workers didn't get any general increase this year.
The Senate would delay for one year within-grade raises due about half the federal work force. Those increases, paid to about 99 percent of all eligible employes, are worth 3 percent. They supplement any general increase paid federal workers.
Depending on their time in grade, employes get raises based on satisfactory service every one, two or three years. The House budget would allow employes to get the raises whenever they become eligible.
A major difference between the Senate and House budgets is in the financing of the next federal pay raise. The Senate would require most federal agencies to absorb up to 35 percent of the cost of the raise, or about $430 million, which could force agencies to furlough or fire employes because of automatic budget cuts that are part of the deficit reduction act. The House bill wouldn't force agencies to absorb any of the pay raise costs.
Under both bills, federal retirees would get a cost-of-living adjustment if the inflation rate went over 2 percent. Retirement Information
Many federal workers are considering retiring immediately to avoid pension tax law changes proposed by the House as part of the tax reform bill. Other longtime and new workers are concerned about a new retirement system that would become effective in January.
Tomorrow from 1 to 2 p.m. on WNTR radio (1050 AM), congressional experts will discuss prospects for pension tax changes and answer questions about the pros and cons of the upcoming pension system. Union Election
Four longtime vice presidents of the American Federation of Government Employees have been defeated in a series of regional elections of the big AFL-CIO union. New England regional Vice President Daniel Kearney lost out to Peter Grossi, John Gage of the Social Security Administraton local in Baltimore upset Ralph Fitch as vice president for the Maryland-Virginia-West Virginia-North Carolina region, O.D. Sanders ousted Sammie Lee Penington in the Arkansas-Oklahoma region and H.E. McLeod beat incumbent Walter Peters in the California-Nevada region.
Reelected vice presidents include Rita Mason (New York-New Jersey), Royal Sims (Pennsylvania-Delaware), Bobbie Harnage (southern region), Alan Kaplan (Illinois-Michigan), Virgel Miller (Midwest region), Glen Peterson (Texas-Mississippi- Louisiana) and Charles Carter (Rocky Mountain region). The Washington area caucus will hold its election tomorrow. Relocation Help
The General Services Administration has signed contracts with three firms, which it says could be worth up to $73 million, to provide relocation help (including house sales and purchases) to federal workers moved as part of their jobs.
ChemExec Relocations Systems of Stamford, Conn., will handle Washington area moves. The other firms are Howard Relocation Group, Livingston, N.J., and Better Homes and Gardens Family Relocation Service of Des Moines.