Agency Is Shrinking, But Budget Is Up by 3%

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NCUA previewed a fiscal 2004 budget plan that calls for a 3% rise in spending, including 4.1% pay hikes for agency employees. The $150.4-million spending plan would reduce the NCUA's workforce by another seven positions, on top of the 24 eliminated last year, bringing the agency's total staffing to an eight-year low of 964.

If the spending plan is approved at the NCUA board's December meeting, federal credit unions will probably be assessed the same operating fee rate as this year.

The plan includes $890,000 budgeted for labor relations management to allow NCUA to manage the efforts by employees to unionize, which may include an election. It also includes $1.1-million for pay for repairs to the outside of the agency's 10-year-old headquarters building here.

The budget also includes about $2 million held over from this year to fund the ongoing consolidation of NCUA's six regions and the move of the west coast Region Six office from San Francisco to Phoenix.

Ed Roberts can be contacted at roberts

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