FMA WARNS OF HARMFUL EFFECTS CAUSED BY DRASTICALLY REDUCING TDY PER DIEM ALLOWANCE - December 5, 2014
Alexandria, VA - On December 4, the Federal Managers Association (FMA) along with union and industry representatives, and Members of Congress, participated in a round table discussion with Department of Defense (DOD) Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, Readiness and Force Management Stephanie Barna and DOD leadership to discuss cuts to temporary duty assignment (TDY) per diem allowances that went into effect on November 1, 2014. Per diem allowances for those on TDY between 30 and 180 days have been reduced by 25 percent, and 45 percent for those over 180 days. FMA National President Patricia Niehaus issued the following statement on these drastic cuts.
"The Department of Defense is full of highly skilled and capable federal workers. They are in high demand across the country and often are required to complete temporary duty assignments (TDY). These dedicated men and women often find themselves on TDY for months to ensure DOD's congressionally-mandated missions and goals are met. However, cuts implemented by DOD in November negatively impact DOD civilian employees' ability to find acceptable lodging.
"These extreme cuts create undue financial burdens on these dedicated employees who will struggle to meet these per diem requirements. While DOD states firmly that travelers will not be required to pay out of pocket for any valid expense and TDY employees will be reimbursed if suitable lodging cannot be found within the new rates, discussions with the travel and lodging industry show the reality will put a burden on employees, as rates will price them out of many markets. Federal workers are still trying to financially recover from the three year pay freeze, furloughs caused by sequestration, a government shutdown, and dwindling employee morale throughout military installations. These cuts do not recognize the financial restraints federal employees face.
"FMA understands the directives DOD is under to reduce expenditures and other costs, and we are hopeful that this round table is a pathway for a continuing dialog between the DOD workforce and DOD leadership to come to an understanding on the best methods for reducing spending within the Department, but not at the expense of its dedicated workers. These TDY per diem allowance cuts do not grasp the realities of long term travel expenses. FMA will continue to work with Members of Congress and DOD leadership to develop sound funding to ensure mission success while fairly compensating employees."