Federal pay freeze — what you weren’t told

John Sarbanes

Democratic Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 was not mentioned on November 29, 2010 when the President called for a two-year wage freeze for civilian federal employees — an about face from his proposed 1.4% raise earlier in the year.

Less than two weeks before the Presidents’ “bold” announcement, Congress passed the “Telework Enhancement Act of 2010” which was introduced by Democratic Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland.  (see his bio and co-sponsors below)

This bill will require that management establish and implement a policy authorizing federal employees to work at home. Each employee is estimated to save $6,000-$10,000 in commuting expenses alone by working at home.

According to a study, titled “Telework Eligibility Profile: Feds Fit the Bill,” underwritten by Tandberg and released by Telework Exchange 96 percent of respondents are eligible to telework (79 percent eligible to telework full time).

What wasn’t assessed in the “study” was the Federal cost of providing duplicate supplies and equipment for employee home offices. The cost “savings” will be for the employee (rather than the employer) who will now be able to pocket the extra $6,000-$10,000 saved on the commute. Other employee cost savings such as work attire, child care, etc. is not available.

Telework Exchange is a public-private partnership focused on providing educational and communication requirements of the Federal teleworker community. The organization facilitates communication among Federal teleworkers, telework managers, and IT professionals.

Tandberg (now a part of Cisco) is the fastest growing company in the telepresence and video conferencing industry.

John Sarbanes (D-MD), born 1962, has served in the “House” since his election in 2006. Schooled at Princeton and Harvard, John is the son of former Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) who served in the US Congress from 1971-2006. (1971-1976 as a Rep.; 1976-2006 as a Senator)

Co-sponsors include: Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV 2001-present); Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD 1995-present); Lloyd Doggett (D-TX 1995-present); Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 1995-present);  James P. Moran (D-VA 1991-present); Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD 2003-present); Robert J. Wittman (R-VA 2007-present); Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA 2009-present); Danny Davis (D-IL 1997-present); James Himes (D-CT 2009-present); Stephen Lynch (D-MA 2001-present); Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC 1991-present); Edolphus Towns (D-NY 1983-present); and Frank Wolf (R-VA 1981-present).

Read HR 1722

View roll call vote

Federal employees saw a 3.9% and  2% raise in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

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