ARLINGTON, Va. – NAFCU last week called on NCUA to use any funds saved by a potential freeze on federal employee salaries this year, instead of waiting to consider the issue at a mid-year budget review.

“The NCUA should take action on civilian pay commensurate to that of the Federal Government as recommended by the president and approved by Congress,” NAFCU President Fred Backer told Credit Union Journal. “And 2013 assessments on FCUs for the operating fund should be adjusted downward accordingly.”

Becker’s comments come as NCUA is poised to give its 1,260 employees pay raises averaging 5%, after freezing their salaries last year due to a government-wide pay freeze. However, Congress has proposed extending the freeze, which expires in March, for another year.

NCUA told Credit Union Journal last week if Congress extends the freeze the NCUA Board plans to return those funds following the 2013 mid-session budget review. The NCUA has budgeted $12.8 million to pay for the proposed increases in salaries and related benefits.

But NAFCU’s Becker said the mid-year review will be too late to affect this year’s operating fees assessed federally chartered credit unions and he hopes NCUA acts as soon as possible after congressional action to return the funds as part of this year’s assessment.

The issue of NCUA pay raises has created a stir among credit unions because NCUA awarded raises for 2011 despite the ongoing freeze because it said a prior collective bargaining agreement with the agency’s union, the National Treasury Employees Union, legally bound the agency to pay the raises, despite the presidentially-directed freeze on raises for federal employees.

 

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