The majority of NCUA employees, who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, will receive pay increases, despite a federal pay freeze.
The pay freeze "may not, as a matter of Federal sector labor law, apply to any increase that is required by a collective bargaining agreement that has already been executed and is in effect,'' according to a memorandum released by the Office of Personnel Management.
The pay freeze, which Congress approved last month, applies only to executive branch agencies and not to independent agencies such as the NCUA. However, federal law can't override a previously negotiated collective bargaining agreement.
The $225.4 million budget approved by the NCUA for 2011 includes a 6.1% pay raise for employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement. That covers 80% of the agency's employees, and that three-year contract is up for renegotiation this year. The remaining 20% of employees are slated to receive a 3% increase, which was approved by the NCUA Board, but the agency could reverse that increase.
"NCUA will certainly honor the pay freeze for all affected employees-and we will reduce our budget accordingly. The cost savings will be shown in July when the NCUA Board conducts our annual mid-year budget review,'' NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in a statement.
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelly said NCUA employees, whom her union represents, are entitled to their pay increase.
"NTEU has a collective bargaining agreement covering compensation in place at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). It would be unlawful to abrogate such agreements,'' she said in a statement. "The fact is that NCUA employees have already earned their 2011 pay over the past year. It would be unjust for employees not to receive the performance-based pay increases that they have worked so hard to achieve.'' NCUA has 217 non-bargaining unit employees and 894 bargaining unit.