AFGE Local 2113 Position on Pay Banding
"Pay Banding" is an experimental pay system different from the GS-series pay system in that an employee receives raises in accordance with his performance evaluations as determined by his supervisor. While at first this may seem attractive, assuming a top performer will enjoy accelerated pay promotion, the entire process is subjective and has disadvantages such as:
Historical data has shown that on a per-capita basis, awards have been granted disproportionately to higher-grade employees and employees working on special internal-affairs type projects. For example, between November 1999 and May 2000, awards to GS/GM-15 employees averaged over $2000 per recipient. History has also suggested a "quota"-like system limiting Quality Step Increases (QSIs) and top marks ("5"s) when we used the 5-point grading system.
- No automatic step increases or COLAs. All pay increases would be depend on an employee's performance as perceived by and at the discretion of his supervisor.
- Cost of living raises, if any, are subject to the discretion of the supervisor.
- None of the body of law particular to GS-series pay would apply under pay banding.
- The total of all pay raises for a given year would still be limited, and all pay raises, including those of supervisors, would come out of the same pool of money; hence, granting a raise to one employee would limit or exclude raise(s) which could be granted to other employee(s).
Because of the inherrent subjective nature of employee performance evaluation, and what appear to have been inequities and annomalies in past distributions of awards (which designation is similarly subjective), it is the position of Local 2113 that Pay banding is not in the best interests of the majority of our bargaining unit members. This is not to say that we do not have many top performers in the bargaining unit. It merely recognizes that in these years of A-76 cutbacks, there is usually not enough money available to give every deserving employee equitable pay adjustments. We further recognize the subjective distribution of awards in the past, and have no reason at present to believe that pay adjustments under pay banding would not be similarly subjective. Would you like all your raises to come like awards, QSI's, and promotions do now?
Had it not been for the presence of a labor union, Management could have imposed pay banding on us long ago with no obligation whatsoever to negotiate the issues. Local 2113 is proud to take credit for fending off pay banding.
Pay Banding experiments which have already been tried at China Lake (link), (...) have run into problems which further confirm that Local 2113 made the right decision on this matter.
Without having taken any data, we suspect that there is much less bickering over performance marks under the current 2-level pass/fail system than we had under the 5-point system. If one may extrapolate this pattern the other way, it seems almost certain that of one's pay and pay raises depended on evaluations, there would be much more bickering over them than we had under the 5-point system.
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