I propose a Reduced Full Time Employee (RFTE) status for Federal employees. Qualified would be those rated fully successful or better for two consecutive performance reviews, and workers could voluntarily opt to work between 32 & 36 hours per week. A thoroughly trained, well performing employee can achieve productivity outputs in slightly fewer hours with incentive to retain the benefit.
Providing this option to employees would:
•Reduce annual expenses by more than $53 million with less than .5% opting in
•Save tax dollars allocated to federal health benefits
•Retain valuable, trained, optimal employees
•Provide older individuals with a gradual transition into retirement; further family options; handicapped individuals a less tiring workweek; students or volunteers ability to increase their hours
•Save gas and pollution associated with commuting
The following calculations show potential annual Payroll reduction per person at various grades/steps if workweek is reduced by 4 hours:
•Grade7 Step 6, $3,964
•Grade9 Step 8, $5,126
•Grade12 Step 4, $6,630
With increased participation, savings would increase as well. In 2009, there were about 2.094 Million Federal Employees. If 1% of the work force would opt for 4 hours less, at Grade 9, Step 8, the savings is $107.3 Million per year.
The benefits of an RFTE to Gov't would be similar and potentially greater than those that Congress recognized in the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978, which addresses work schedules ranging between 16 and 32 hours per week. 5 CFR §340.101 (2)(E) states that part-time work “benefits...the Government...by increasing productivity and job satisfaction,...lowering turnover rates and absenteeism, offering management more flexibility in meeting work requirements, and filling shortages in various occupations...”
Implementing an RFTE status would accomplish reduced costs in an era of shrinking budgets while simultaneously ensuring retention of qualified employees.