FY 2011 Budget Becomes Law; SEC Will Now Implement Agreement with Union to Provide Retroactive Merit Pay


4/15/11: Yesterday, Congress approved the FY 2011 budget compromise, which will fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. This budget, which contains $38 billion in cuts to the discretionary budget demanded by the House, includes a $74 million increase over the FY 2010 budget for the SEC. For that reason, we are pleased to announce that the SEC will now implement its previous agreement with the Union to provide a 1.875% "equivalent share" merit pay increase to all SEC employees who received an acceptable rating for the performance period ending October 31, 2010, retroactive to January 1.

As you know, Congress previously passed a continuing resolution that contained a two-year pay freeze for federal employees under the General Schedule, which means that all federal employees, including all SEC employees, did not receive the usual across-the-board federal pay raise in January, and will not receive one in January 2012. This pay freeze, however, does not apply to within grade or career ladder salary increases. Nor does it override existing compensation agreements pursuant to which NTEU has bargained over pay and benefits, including with respect to merit pay at the SEC. For this reason, months ago, other federal financial regulatory agencies already provided performance-based pay increases to their employees. For example, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the National Credit Union Administration all have already given performance based raises to their employees.

SEC employees' most recent rating period ended on October 31, 2010. All employees who received an acceptable performance rating for that rating period were supposed to receive an "equivalent share" merit pay increase of 1.875%. Employees have already earned this increase through their performance during 2010.

As we reported to you in December, at the end of 2010 the Union obtained the commitment and agreement of the SEC that, if the agency received a full year CR or budget at or above the level of the FY 2010 budget, it would give its employees the 1.875% merit pay increase. Now that the agency has received its budget, it has notified the Union that this negotiated raise, together with a payment of the retroactive portion of the raise going back to January 1, 2011, will be put into effect within the next two pay periods.

During the budget fight, NTEU has consistently and strongly objected to any pay freeze for federal employees. In the course of our fight against it, we made a number of additional arguments to members of Congress and the administration against applying any freeze to agencies that bargain over pay and benefits, have performance-based pay systems off the General Schedule scale or are funded by user fees and thus do not contribute to the federal deficit. We will continue to press these arguments as the continuing debate over the federal budget for FY 2012 unfolds this year.

NTEU will continue to keep you informed of our efforts. Thank you to NTEU's Legislative Department and, in particular, to Kurt Vorndran, for effectively pressing members of Congress to support the SEC's funding increase. And, as always, thank you to the majority of SEC employees who support the Union as dues-paying members, without whom we would have no advocate regarding these important compensation issues. We hope that others will continue to join to our ranks.  A  W