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Old 03-06-2013, 09:03 AM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Obama caught in another "Sequester" lie

Capitol janitors making ‘ends meet’ with overtime? Nope

“You know, those Capitol janitors will not get as much overtime. I’m sure they think less pay, that they’re taking home, does hurt.”

— Gene Sperling, director of the White House economic council, on ABC News’ “This Week,” March 3, 2013

“On the issue of the janitors, if you work for an hourly wage and you earn overtime, and you depend on that overtime to make ends meet, it is simply a fact that a reduction in overtime is a reduction in your pay.”

— White House spokesman Jay Carney, news briefing, March 4

At a news conference last Friday, President Obama claimed that, “starting tomorrow,” the “folks cleaning the floors at the Capitol” had “just got a pay cut” because of the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester.

The president very quickly earned Four Pinocchios for that statement, especially after senior officials at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the federal agency that employ janitors on the House side, and the office of the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), which employs janitors on the Senate side, issued statements saying the president’s comments were not true.

Still, the White House has kept up its spin offensive, claiming that a cut in “overtime” was a de facto pay cut and thus the president was right — or at least not wrong.

So, we wondered: How much overtime do Capitol Hill janitors actually make?




The Facts


First of all, we should note that the White House’s story kept evolving as we reported last week’s column. It’s almost as if the president’s aides had to scramble to come up with reasons why the president could be correct, without actually knowing the facts.

So, when we forwarded to White House aides an AOC memo saying no furloughs were planned, White House aides latched onto a line about overtime reductions. For a couple of hours, we were also told that the janitors were on contract — and contracts were being curtailed. But that line of reasoning turned out to be incorrect. Then, after the statements from the Capitol were issued, there was no longer any response.

But, as seen by the quotes above, the talking point about “overtime” did not fade away.

AOC officials declined to discuss janitor compensation, but SAA officials were willing to share details. Given that the AOC and SAA janitors essentially work side by side, it is reasonable to assume that the pay statistics are roughly similar.

Bret H. Swanson, assistant sergeant at arms for operations and the manager of cleaning technicians, said 27 people are employed on the night cleaning shift and 16 people on a day shift; a majority of the cleaning takes place at night. There is a differential for the overnight shift, so the night janitors earn an average of $51,644 a year and the day janitors earn an average of $49,481.

And the overtime pay? It averaged $304 per employee in fiscal year 2012 and $388 per employee thus far in the current fiscal year. “Cleaning technicians do not earn what I would consider to be a great deal of overtime pay,” Swanson said.

In other words, overtime amounts to only pittance of the overall pay — about $6.50 a week on top of wages of $1,000 a week. That’s much different from Carney’s claim of having to “depend on that overtime to make ends meet.”

Indeed, even before the sequester was implemented, Capitol Hill janitors have already earned more overtime pay than they did in all of last year. Swanson said the higher amount so far this year is because of “the demands of beginning a new Congress and hosting a presidential inauguration during a weekend that also included a federal holiday.”

Swanson said that, as reported, SAA would work on trying to drive down overtime requirements for employees for the rest of the year. But, for the rest of the sequester, the janitors are already ahead of the game.

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.




The Pinocchio Test


We don’t try to play gotcha here at The Fact Checker. When Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was ridiculed for saying last week that 170 million jobs would be lost because of the sequester, we dropped our inquiry when we realized she had corrected her statement — to the official Congressional Budget Office estimate of 750,000 jobs — later in the same news conference. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s understandable.

The quicker the mistake is cleaned up, the better. As Education Secretary Arne Duncan showed this week, a little humility, even a bit late, can be a good thing.

But a clean-up brigade shouldn’t simply try to deflect and obfuscate. Apparently, the president assumed — incorrectly — that the janitors on Capitol Hill would get a pay cut. Rather than admit an error, White House aides doubled down on their talking points about overtime being essential to their livelihood, without actually knowing the truth.

Clearly, the sequester is hurting segments of the government and will cut the pay of some government workers. It would be better to focus on those people rather than imaginary victims.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...1394_blog.html
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #16
Garcia Bronco Garcia Bronco is offline
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If you constantly have to work overtime then there is a resource planning problem.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
If you constantly have to work overtime then there is a resource planning problem.
Not necessarily. Depends on the cost of goods vs. the cost of training a new employee and offering benefits vs. paying someone overtime each week vs. net profit.

Of course, the employee can always find another job if they don't like making extra money.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #18
theelusiveeightrop theelusiveeightrop is offline
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I firmly believe they could have come up with a better name than sequester. What gives?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #19
2bikemike 2bikemike is offline
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Originally Posted by KCWolfman View Post
Not necessarily. Depends on the cost of goods vs. the cost of training a new employee and offering benefits vs. paying someone overtime each week vs. net profit.

Of course, the employee can always find another job if they don't like making extra money.
Yep its cheaper to pay a bit of overtime than another employee salary and benefits.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #20
KCWolfman KCWolfman is offline
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Originally Posted by theelusiveeightrop View Post
I firmly believe they could have come up with a better name than sequester. What gives?
How about this?
rel="Lightbox"?s=287e6419bd5a9879c4f89ae84be2f68b&attachmentid=103868&thumb=1&d=1362621104" class="thumbnail" border="0" alt="Click image for larger version Name: Untitled.jpg Views: 19 Size: 41.0 KB ID: 103868" style="margin: 2px" />
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:40 AM   #21
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Good news! The White House calligrapher, who is paid $96,725 per year, will not be losing his job. We all know how essential a white hut calligrapher is.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/...#ixzz2MlZ1aDhE

Barry really knows how to prioritize.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #22
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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...-would-notice/

Park ranger: Supervisors pushed sequester cuts that visitors would see
By Judson Berger

Published March 08, 2013

Another federal employee has come forward to claim the Obama administration resisted efforts to ease the impact of sequester.

A U.S. park ranger, who did not wish to be identified, told FoxNews.com that supervisors within the National Park Service overruled plans to deal with the budget cuts in a way that would have had minimal impact on the public. Instead, the source said, park staff were told to cancel special events and cut "interpretation services" -- the talks, tours and other education services provided by local park rangers.

"Apparently, they want the public to feel the pain," the ranger said.

The National Park Service is among many federal agencies warning of a major impact from the sequester cuts, which took effect last Friday. The agency has warned of delayed access to portions of Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, closed campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, reduced hours at the Grand Canyon visitor center and other ramifications.

The Obama administration says these cuts must be made in order to make the $85 billion in cuts from Congress' failure to avert the sequester. At the NPS, the agency was dealing with an across-the-board 5 percent cut.

Republicans have claimed the administration is making some cuts in order to exaggerate the impact. Lawmakers this past week revealed a leaked email from the Agriculture Department in which a field officer appeared to tell his team that he was instructed not to contradict the bosses' warnings about the cuts.

At the Park Service, the alleged incident occurred in one region and it's unclear whether other divisions were given similar guidance.

But a Park Service spokesman told FoxNews.com he's "never heard of guidance given like that."

The spokesman said that like other agencies, the Park Service was absorbing a 5 percent cut in just seven months. It was also being forced to cut seasonal employees, which make up a big part of the department's labor costs. Doing this, he explained, would impact "interpretive programs and public events."

But he denied the claim there was any directive to make those cuts more visible to the public.

"There's not a ton of flexibility," he said, noting that most cuts will end up impacting visitors at some level. "Everything in parks is geared toward either the preservation of the resources or the needs of the visitors."

Joan Anzelmo, a former park superintendent in Colorado, also said that while it's possible one specific location was giving guidance to make sure the public sees the cuts, she doesn't think that was happening across the country. She also said any cuts to services and staffing would be made in large part because the parks budgets do not have much "wiggle room."

"I would be hard pressed to be able to make those cuts as a superintendent and not have an impact to the public," said Anzelmo, now a spokeswoman for The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

Nonetheless, memos have surfaced from National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis appearing to show the agency put a priority on telling the public how the cuts would affect them.

One Jan. 25 memo, which was obtained and published by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, showed Jarvis directing regional directors to carefully explain the "specific and tangible results" of the cuts as they submitted their cost-saving plans.

Jarvis wrote that agency officials expected the cuts to result in reduced visitor services, shortened seasons and other visible changes. "Parks must be specific in their description and include the number of visitors affected and an indication of the effect on nearby communities and businesses," he wrote. "All other organizations should describe impacts in terms of diminished performance and reduced administrative services and oversight."

Another memo, dated Feb. 26, railed against the "senseless, across-the-board budget cuts." Jarvis, in that memo, described "long-term and wide-ranging effects," while pledging to try to "mitigate" the impact.

The ranger who spoke to FoxNews.com, though, stressed that it was still just a 5 percent cut.

"It's obvious that they want the public to feel the pain in order to push this agenda that Washington wants," the ranger said. "A lot of these parks can absorb these cuts without the public's visit being affected."
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:33 PM   #23
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Check out Obama's laughable twitter feed. Just use the word "could" in a sentence and call it a "fact"

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:33 PM   #24
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post

So we have TWO different agencies/offices that employ janitors to work WITHIN THE SAME ****ING BUILDING?

Yet another perfect example of inefficiency and stupidity in the management of our federal affairs.

More and more I'd love to have a pure bean-counter as Vice President who was given a mandate and empowered by the President to do NOTHING except RUTHLESSLY root out inefficiency in government to make everything run more smoothly. Gore made some headway in this respect on regulations, but I don't mean just regulations, I mean everything.
That's a great idea. Honestly, the VP doesn't seem to do much. I admit that I have no intimate knowledge of the duties of the office but I remain unimpressed with the men who have filled it for the last...I don't know...several decades?
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