NCUA Staff Mood Brightens
An Office of Personnel Management annual survey revealed a drop in federal employee job satisfaction. However, that is not the case at the NCUA.
The NCUA scored among the top four of 37 federal departments and agencies in each survey category, and the agency showed strong improvement from 2011 in a number of categories.
For example, the NCUA ranked fourth in “leadership and knowledge management,” an increase from 17th in 2011. The NCUA also ranked fourth in “global satisfaction,” a measure of how work provides meaning and opportunities for professional growth. That was up from 14th in 2011. The agency tied for third in overall job satisfaction with the Office of Management and Budget. The top two agencies in that category were NASA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, respectively.
“Since my first day as chairman, one of my top priorities has been to make NCUA an employer of choice,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz.
“More than 93 million credit union members depend on NCUA to keep their money safe. To do that requires a dynamic workforce that has the tools, training and support needed to fulfill our responsibilities. We have worked diligently to create an environment of open communications, mutual respect and trust. I am extremely gratified that our workforce recognizes these efforts.”
The NCUA’s success in the 2012 survey counters an overall trend of declining satisfaction among federal workers. Global satisfaction among all federal employees surveyed dropped to 63%, down from 67% reported in 2010.
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley blamed the drop on a 27-month pay freeze. Pay satisfaction in the survey registered at just 59%, the lowest recorded level since 2004. The NTEU serves as the union for 1,000 NCUA employees and 30 additional federal agencies and departments.
During a Nov. 21 NCUA Board meeting, the board approved a 6% budget increase for 2013 that would fund a 7.5% increase in employee pay, benefits and the full funding of positions that had been just partially funded in 2012. However, those increases are dependent upon congressional approval to end a pay freeze for federal employees. NCUA Public Affairs Specialist John Fairbanks stressed that the budget proposal does not call for a 7.5% salary increase for employees. The actual pay increase, if approved, would be closer to 3.5%.
Kelley told Credit Union Times that even though the NCUA is an independent agency, it is not immune to the effects of the pay freeze. The NCUA’s bargaining unit employees, roughly 80% of its workforce, did receive raises in 2011 as required by contract. However, that contract expired in November 2011 and the new contract is in line with the federal pay freeze, and also does not include any adjustment to locality pay for 2012.