SEC, Union Clash Over Pay Hikes

May 30, 2002 ( - A union representing 2,000 of the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) 3,000 employees is battling with the agency over how to spend $25 million intended to boost current salary schedules.

About 200 SEC workers staged a protest rally on Thursday about agency management salary raise proposals, according to a Reuters news report. Congress appropriated the funds last year and President Bush signed the bill into law in January.

National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) officials say they want 60% of the money for union-represented salaries. The union estimates agency management is offering about 40% for the remainder of the fiscal year, but NTEU officials say they aren’t sure because managers haven’t disclosed their exact pay plans.

Low Morale

At issue is a new pay scale unilaterally implemented by management this month that the union says favors managers and supervisors.

The union also said it opposes a proposal for an initial 6% increase because it would not benefit workers over the next few years.

Since the late 1990s, the SEC has sought to halt the flow of experienced staff, such as accountants, attorneys and examiners, leaving for higher-paying private sector jobs.

The NTEU has sought salary hikes of as much as 30% to bring them in line with pay scales at other federal financial regulatory agencies.