Obama Pay Freeze May Affect NCUA Raises

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA attorneys were huddling last week 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 that will cost $17 million to implement.

That's because the NCUA pay raises were determined under a collective bargaining agreement with 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.

The NCUA pay hikes have attracted criticism from CUs, 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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