Credit Unions Express Disgust With NCUA Budget Hike

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Credit union executives have expressed to Credit Union Journal everything from outrage to fear in response to NCUA’s announced budget hike, including pay raises for staff.

At its Nov. 18 board meeting, NCUA said it needed to increase the budget in order to hire new examiners, raise salaries from 5% to 8%, and to create the new Office of Minority & Women Involvement – at a time when many credit unions are having to cut staff and freeze salaries in order to pay for assessments charged by NCUA.

“Examiners are always telling us to improve our bottom line and to cut costs to do it,” one CEO noted. “It is the height of hypocrisy to tell us to cut costs – which frequently means cutting staff – and then to turn around and hike their budget so they can hire more staff and pay out raises we can only dream of offering right now.”

In response to some of the initial anger over the move, NCUA issued a statement explaining that the generous pay raises set for next year were determined under arbitration with the agency’s examiner union after the two sides came to an impasse during negotiations. But that explanation did little to soothe credit union executives up in arms over the budget hike. “There are always two sides at a negotiating table,” one CU executive said. “Shame on them.”

But some CU executives were more than a little leery of offering any criticism – constructive or otherwise – fearing retaliation from their examiners. “It’s gotten to the point that if you challenge them, they just hit you with a bigger hammer, and the irony is, they’re doing it with our money.”

Additional coverage of credit union reaction will appear in the Nov. 29 edition of Credit Union Journal.

 

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