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Overseas Comparability Pay Update from AFSA

with 2 comments

I got a SMART cable from AFSA’s Vice President Daniel Hirsch the other day that touches on Overseas Comparability Pay’s future.  Relevant sections as follows:

UPDATES ON SOME LARGER ISSUES:

1. Overseas Comparability Pay:

As described in today’s update by AFSA President Susan
Johnson, available on AFSA’s website, AFSA is working
hard to retain OCP in a fast-evolving environment in
which Congress is considering very large cuts to the
federal budget.  The State and Foreign Operations
Authorization bill recently passed in the House makes
drastic cuts to Foreign Affairs programs and makes no
mention whatever of Overseas Comparability Pay.  The
House bill is given little chance of passing the Senate,
but unless specific funding language for OCP is added to
an appropriations bill, either by the House or Senate,
OCP funding will not be renewed, resulting in an
immediate 16% pay cut for low and  mid-level Foreign
Service personnel currently assigned overseas.

AFSA President Johnson, State VP Daniel Hirsch and other
VPs have been visiting the Hill weekly to garner
support. We have been meeting with Senators,
Representatives and staffers to stress the issues
involved, including among others:  basic fairness,
recruitment and retention, return on investment (how the
FS helps America build its own economy and create jobs)
and busting the myths regarding allowances, benefits,
government housing, etc.

Senator Kerry has introduced a draft State Foreign
Operations authorization bill that fully funds the
Administration’s request, including OCP.

AFSA is continuing to vigorously lobby the key
committees in congress to keep the appropriate funding
language for OCP. AFSA President Johnson’s message
contains information on how you can participate in this
effort. The Department has also assured us that this
remains one of its highest priorities.

I’ve been pretty optimistic with the recent near-misses over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, but my optimism is running out.  A 16% pay cut would really suck, and will put a huge strain on a workforce that is borderline overextended in the world’s roughest regions (and no, I’m not talking about AIP).

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2 Responses

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  1. Agreed. If this happens, something will have to be done to once again make hardship and danger pay the incentive pay they were intended to be. I don’t know about you, but my family is a lot less inclinced to allow me to bid on malaria and dengue fever ridden posts that also require we take a pay cut to go there.

    Al

    07/08/2011 at 12:39

    • It’s pretty ridiculous. I’d even be OK with them taking the equivalent bonus away from Civil Servants; whatever – as long as we’re on equal footing.

      OpSec

      08/08/2011 at 11:51


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