Beyond the Survey: Agencies Should Press for Meaningful Change

Washington, D.C.— Results of the 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) again demonstrate the high levels of commitment federal employees have to their jobs, but survey data fail to capture the tumultuous times federal workers have been facing.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the early results last week and more detailed results this week.

As in previous years, the FEVS demonstrated that the vast majority (90 percent of more) of federal employees have superior levels of commitment to their work, consistently seek out ways to do the work better and are willing to go the extra mile.

“There is no question about the dedication of federal employees to their jobs, but there is a huge question mark about the commitment of Congress to the workers who deliver the vital services our country relies on,” said President Tony Reardon, “Federal employees continue to endure chronic funding cuts, threats of sequestration, inadequate pay raises and attacks on federal retirement and health benefits. Those frustrations are not really addressed in a survey of this nature, but are integral to employee morale and satisfaction.”

This year’s FEVS was conducted before new threats by Congress to shut down the government emerged, Reardon pointed out.

Among NTEU-represented agencies, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Credit Union Administration stayed among the top 10 in their group. The Department of Homeland Security continued its hold as one of the lowest-scoring agencies.

The NTEU president urged agency leadership not to get bogged down in the data and rankings, but to work with employee representatives to tackle the issues employee care most about such as workload, training and fair treatment.

“In each agency where NTEU represents employees, there are concrete issues that we can point to that would make a meaningful difference to employee engagement and satisfaction,” said NTEU President Tony Reardon. “NTEU will press agencies to look beyond the scores and listen to the voices of employees about how to make the workplace better.”

“Frankly, I am worried about the wear and tear on dedicated employees as we lurch from one needless budget crisis to another. I’m concerned about federal employees once again being looked to for further sacrifices to resolve budget disputes when they have already contributed over $159 billion in cuts,” Reardon said. “I’m concerned continued shutdown threats and cuts to pay or benefits will lead talented, experienced workers to leave the government in search of a more stable work environment where their efforts are appreciated.”