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Old 08-20-2010, 06:31 AM
 
5,722 posts, read 5,771,209 times
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Originally Posted by still_waiting View Post
Well it's pretty obvious who you work for. Surprised you'd even hint at that.
Actually, I'm sure you can't guess!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:32 AM
 
Location: somewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statecollege View Post
It takes 15 yrs to accumulate 8 hrs/pay period. The incentive to not use sick leave liberally for employees under the former system that I was subject to (may have been changed to cover those now under the newer civil service system) was that accumulated sick leave at retirement counted toward years in service. When I retired I had well over 3000 hrs of sick leave on the books which gave me the equivalent of about 1 1/2 yrs of service.

They actually got rid of that system of accumulated leave counting towards years in service, so you had alot of employees close to retirement who took alot of sick days the last year or so before retirement, however just recently they brought back the ability for it to count towards year in service. Just wanted to add that this is the case at least in the agency my husband works for, not to sure what happened in other agencies.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:38 AM
 
5,722 posts, read 5,771,209 times
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Originally Posted by mdcrim View Post
I think they should do a study comparing not the federal employee to the contractor employee but the overall spending on those particular positions. Bear with me, this may get complicated.

For example, you have a federal employee earning $100,000 per year plus benefits. Lets say we estimate their overall compensation package at $150,000 (retirement, leave, insurance, etc). Now you have a contractor employee earning $80,000 (same work, different employer), with an overall compensation package of $120,000.

What I want to know is how much the government is paying the contracting companies for that contractor, not how much the contractor employee is earning. I would be willing to bet the contracting company, which is really a glorified employment agency, is making MUCH more than $120,000 per year for that employee by the government and the government is probably paying much more for the contractor employee than they would be paying a similar federal employee. The trade off is the ability for the government to remove problem people (by kicking them off the contract) or by limiting the amount of time a contract runs so they don't have to employ the people forever.

The compensation doesn't always make it down to the employee once the contracting company takes their cut. I know a person, for example, whose hourly billing rate to the government was $95 per hour. His salary was $85,000 per year (less than half what the company was making for him). Multiply that by thousands and you can see why companies such as SAIC have yearly profits in the billions.

I think the comparison study needs to be how much the government pays the contracting companies for the positions, not how much the employees are earning. Only then will we be able to get a true comparison of where are tax money is going.
You have hit the proverbial nail on the head.

When I was contractor, we received an hourly rate from the government per employee. I can assure you that may ONE of those employees on the contract every came close to that hourly rate.

The hourly, billable rate on the contract is very inflated. It covers the employee, the benefits package, and all the money that goes into the "overhead" pot that the contractor uses to pay rent and other things. So, essentially, the government is paying for these things even though it appears it doesn't.

Let's say the hourly rate on the contract is $100. Joe Blow make $23 per hour. When the costing/funding sheets go over to the government, all the government sees is that they are pay $100 an hour for Joe Blow for 2080 hours per year. Joe doesn't get $100 per hour. He gets $23 per hour, plus some leave and some contribution to his health insurance. Let's say that all comes out to $40 per hour. Contractor XYZ has still "made" $60 per hour on Joe Blow. That "profit" goes into their coffers to pay for things like rent, computers, company picnics, non-direct charging support staff, etc.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:22 PM
 
106 posts, read 148,603 times
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Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Huh? Contractors are constantly monitored. Everything they do is monitored. Government doesn't pay their overhead! Contractors pay for their own buildings, health insurance, electricity, and pension plans. Government pays of all of that for government workers.

Gates is cutting contractors so he can expand the federal government instead. That's how it usually works when a democrat is in the White House, more government, union, jobs.

How interesting that you have a government job yet the government does pay you! Do you work for free? <JK>

The government pays for the rent, etc. through the cost of the contract - it is all in the hourly calculations. They do charge overhead and it states it right in their quotes, except they usually call it administrative overhead.

Gates does not want to expand government, he probably wants to quit playing the shell game. For example, there may be work for 1,000,000 employees, but if there is only 750,000 government employees and 250,000 contractors, is it still not the same? Many contracts during the Bush administration - and it 'appeared' that he was trying reduce the size of government (but didn't Bush do a pretty good job at expanding government a wee bit?)

Contractors also leave with government knowledge, which is priceless. We have contractors who have an intimate knowledge of some of our systems but we say adios when that contract ends. To me, that is a waste of time and money. Let's just hire them as federal employees and keep that knowledge.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:25 PM
 
106 posts, read 148,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
They actually got rid of that system of accumulated leave counting towards years in service, so you had alot of employees close to retirement who took alot of sick days the last year or so before retirement, however just recently they brought back the ability for it to count towards year in service. Just wanted to add that this is the case at least in the agency my husband works for, not to sure what happened in other agencies.


Obama OKs FERS sick leave credit - FederalTimes.com
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:25 PM
 
248 posts, read 252,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Actually, I'm sure you can't guess!
You are right. I can only assume, plus either way it will neither be "confirmed nor denied" . I love that game.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:51 PM
 
205 posts, read 280,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Am I understanding this correctly? New employees get one day of annual leave per month, 12 a year. And the same for sick leave? A total of 24 days a year? 5 weeks. After 3 years, it goes up to 18 days annual leave and the 12 days of sick leave, for a total of 30 days a year, 6 weeks! Pretty good.
The two do not sum. They are separate pots for separate purposes. I think federal workers start off at 13 days of vacation per year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Huh? Contractors are constantly monitored. Everything they do is monitored. Government doesn't pay their overhead! Contractors pay for their own buildings, health insurance, electricity, and pension plans. Government pays of all of that for government workers.

Gates is cutting contractors so he can expand the federal government instead. That's how it usually works when a democrat is in the White House, more government, union, jobs.

How interesting that you have a government job yet the government does pay you! Do you work for free? <JK>
The government has limited visibility into the contract workforce. They can dig deep when required, but they do not actively manage the contract workforce. As for the government not paying for overhead, that is a completely ignorant statement. In fact overhead is called out as a separate line item in billings from contractors to the government. And the government pays more for contractors who work in contractor facilities than in government facilities.

Can't speak for all parts of the government, but the technical experts we have assisting us on our project costs us north of $300k a year each. The contractor doesn't make that much - that's what the company bills.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:01 PM
 
248 posts, read 252,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
The two do not sum. They are separate pots for separate purposes. I think federal workers start off at 13 days of vacation per year.
Yes you are absolutely correct. I am getting 13 days per year for the first three years right from the start. That was clearly outlined in my benefits when offered my job.

And yes, that is ABSOLUTELY correct, overhead is factored in the total cost of the contract. Someone put it very aptly when they said it's just liek a glorified temp agency. The amount the actual worker gets is miniscule compared to what the contracting company bills the gov't.

I worked as a contractor in Iraq last year, and all I can say without incriminating or making disparaging comments about contracting in general is that the perception of contractors being harder workers than gov't workers is exactly PERCEPTION. 100k for 6 months was actually on the lower end of the scale as far as pay and that was the pay for contractors. Imagine what the companies were billing the Gov't.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:22 PM
 
106 posts, read 25,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by still_waiting View Post
100k for 6 months was actually on the lower end of the scale as far as pay and that was the pay for contractors. Imagine what the companies were billing the Gov't.
Yes, but imagine what insurance premiums contractors are paying to have their people in a war zone.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:39 PM
 
3,166 posts, read 4,229,897 times
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I spoke with a friend today, a PhD who has worked for over a decade for the government and now several years for private contractors. She has a top secret clearance. Her summation was this. If you want to make a lot of money, and don't mind working really hard, often with very long hours, go with contracting. She has many weeks where she gets fewer than 5 hours of sleep a night. Two nights this week she slept 2 hours! With another project due on Tuesday she doesn't expect to sleep much this weekend. She can very rarely take a day off. Yes, she is making money for the contractor, and she is well paid for it, but it's extremely difficult to have a life outside of work. If you want more regular hours, more of a life outside work, but less potential to make lots of money, go with the government. Your government job may not be as exciting, but you will definitely get more sleep and see your partner more! Oh, she also said if sick leave matters, as opposed to just a "pot of leave" to use for illness, vacation, whatever, then the government is also better for you.
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