NCUA’s Hand On Employee Raises Set By Labor Arbitrator

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCUA said the generous employee 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.

The three-year contract which sets merit pay raises for next year at 5%, far above the annual rate of inflation of 1.9%, has attracted criticism among the credit union lobby, which has set its focus on a 12% overall spending hike for NCUA, following last year’s 13% hike.

The 5% average pay raises could be as much as 8% for some employees because the contract with the National Treasury Employees Union calls for an additional 1% to 3% for employees in the most expensive cities and Washington, D.C. , (its suburb of Alexandria, Va.) where most of NCUA’s employees are located is one of the most expensive cities in the country. The actual rates for the additional pay raises will not be determined until February.

Next year’s pay raises compare to 3% raises awarded this year.

The pay raises make up the vast majority of the $24.5 million increase in spending NCUA has set for next year, with employee pay and related benefits accounting for $17.1 million, or 72%, of the increase.

The collective bargaining agreement for NCUA employees has a three-year duration, concluding next January, and rolls over for one-year increments until otherwise negotiated by NCUA and NTEU. Term negotiations for a new agreement are anticipated to begin in January 2011.

NCUA said it is not bound to give non-union employees, like the agency’s executives, the same 5% plus up to 3%. In fact, the budget used a growth factor of 6.1% to program for bargaining staff salaries whereas the budget used a growth factor of 3.0% to program the salary increase for non-bargaining staff.

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