NCUA Mulls Applicability Of Presidential Pay Freeze

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCUA attorneys are huddling this morning to discuss whether a freeze on federal pay raises proposed by President Obama would apply to the generous pay hikes for NCUA employees approved just two weeks ago which will cost $17 million to implement.

That’s because the NCUA pay raises, an average 5%, and as much as 8% for some employees in high-price locales, were determined under a collective bargaining agreement with the NCUA examiner’s union, the National Treasury Employees Union, while salary levels for most other federal employees have not been set yet for next year. In addition, NCUA is a self-funded independent government agency, so it comes under different rules than the executive branch, which would be restricted by the freeze.

The NCUA pay hikes, determined by a federal arbitrator, have attracted criticism within the credit union movement, which will pay for the raises through annual operating assessments and funds from declining earnings on the National CU Share Insurance Fund.

The pay raises, which will cost $17.1 million in pay and benefits, makes up the biggest portion of a $24.5 million spending increase set for next year, a 12% budget increase, and comes after NCUA boosted spending by 13% this year.

President Obama has proposed a two-year freeze on all federal pay at an estimated cost savings of as much as $7 billion, as talks heat up on reigning in the federal budget deficit.

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