Facts about Compensation and Awards at CDC
With the recent selection of four of CDC's own, two scientists and two managers, for Presidential Rank Awards this year, questions about awards and compensation at CDC are again making news. While there are many non-monetary honor awards presented to deserving CDC employees each year, including those for the Commissioned Corps, interest seems to be focused on monetary awards. The following questions and answers may be of interest in your discussions regarding monetary awards at CDC:
How do CDC's scientists and medical professionals fare in relationship to mission support and managers for pay and compensation?
When considering all pay systems for the entire CDC workforce (i.e., Titles 5 and 42, Senior Executive Service [SES ], Senior Biomedical Research Service [SBRS ] , and Commissioned Corps), and all types of compensation are considered (i.e., base pay, locality, Physicians Comparability Allowance [PCA], Title 38 Physicians and Dentists Pay [PDP] , retention allowance, recruitment, performance awards, and special act awards), the results, as of early October 2006 are:
- Of the top 10 for compensation all 10 (100%) are science and medical
- Of the top 100 for compensation 97 (97%) are science and medical
- Of the top 200 for compensation 195 (97.5%) are science and medical
- Of the top 500 for compensation 477 (95.4%) are science and medical
Are there annual limits to what government employees can be paid?
Yes, and there are annual limits for salary and for all monetary compensation. The salary and compensation caps are different for each pay category. The table below defines those caps and the dollar amounts for 2006.
|Pay System||Salary Cap||Total Annual Compensation Cap|
|SES (with OPM certified performance system)||$165,200||$212,100|
If the Total Annual Compensation Cap for any system will be exceeded at the end of the calendar year, the pay system will roll over the excess amount to the following calendar year. The excess amount may include:
- cash awards (Special Act or Service Awards)
- performance bonuses
- Physicians' Comparability Allowances
- Presidential Rank Awards for SES members
- recruitment and relocation incentives
What monetary awards are given to CDC employees and do scientists fare as well as managers for awards?
The information below will give you a more complete look at who has been receiving awards at CDC. CDC has nearly 9,000 employees working in a broad spectrum of capacities and occupations, from distinguished scientists, researchers, and consultants to top outreach and education specialists, and to dedicated communication, administrative and support staff. CDC's awards and recognition programs recognize staff who go above and beyond the general requirements of their positions, make a contribution to CDC's mission that has impact, and perform consistently at an outstanding level.
Importantly, to understand who is getting awards at CDC one must understand the workforce composition and the types of awards and who is or is not eligible for each award.
What is the CDC workforce composition?
- There is approximately 8,900 full-time staff
- 66% of CDC's civilian workforce is mission-direct (e.g., scientists, researchers, and public health program professionals)
- 588 Title 42 employees
- 855 Commissioned Corps personnel
What are the types of monetary awards employees may receive at CDC?
- Monetary/Cash Awards: (Commissioned Corps is not eligible for these awards except in rare instances related to inventions or discoveries)
- Performance – annual performance rating
- Special Act or Service (group or individual) – one-time, non-recurring accomplishment (award amount varies)
- On-the-spot – Same as Special Act or Service award (up to $500)
- Time off award – Time off without charge to a staff member's leave or loss of pay
- Presidential rank
NOTE: Only the Senior Executive Service (SES) is eligible for Presidential Rank. It was established to help federal agencies stay competitive with private organizations in attracting and retaining the highest qualified professionals. The selection process is rigorous, with evaluation criteria based on leadership and results.
- Distinguished Senior Professional and Executive Rank Award given to those in the SES who achieve extraordinary results
- 1% of staff who are SES may earn this award annually
- 35% of base pay award in a lump sum
- Meritorious Senior Professional and Executive Rank Award given to those SES leaders with sustained accomplishments
- 5% of SES career members may receive this award annually
- 20% of base pay award in a lump sum
For more information about the CDC awards information, including the Distinguished Senior Professional and Executive Rank Award, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/about/news/2006_09/awards_program.htm
How much is CDC paying out in awards? Is this number going up or down? Are scientists and program professionals fairly represented in the distribution of awards?
Cash awards greater than $2,500 for CDC science and program staff have steadily increased over the last 6 ½ years, from 2000 to 2006 and have continuously grown as a proportion of all awards made above $2,500.
- 64 awards at or above $2,500 went to science and program staff
- This represented $261,462 total award amount
- 40% of recipients of cash awards at or above $2,500 were science and program staff
- 50% of the cash awards total dollars for awards at or above $2,500 went to science and program staff
- All cash awards at or above $2,500 for all staff totaled 161 and represented $524,539 in 2000
- 388 awards made at or above $2,500 went to science and program staff
- this represented $1,776,875 total award amount
- 78% of recipients of cash award at or above $2,500 were science and program staff
- 84% of the cash awards total dollars for awards at or above $2,500 went to science and program staff
- All cash awards at or above $2,500 for all staff totaled 495 and represented $2,114,546 in 2006
- 55% of awards from 2000-2006 at or above $2,500 have gone to science and program staff
- 57% of cash awards total dollars for awards at or above $2,500 went to science and program staff
- Over the 6 ½ year period, awards greater than $2,500 to all staff have totaled $9.55 million
- This represents two tenths of 1% (0.2%) of total agency staff salaries and benefits for this period
- Cash awards above $1,000 for all staff over these 6 ½ years represents 1.6% of total agency staff salaries and benefits
- Over the period of 2000-2006, the total of all cash awards has consistently ranged between 1.5-1.7% of CDC's salaries and benefits
These are a lot of facts and figures but they represent a growth in the amount of awards above $2,500 and a substantial increase in awards for those fulfilling mission direct positions in science and programs.
Will you release the names of persons who received awards?
This information is releasable through the Freedom of Information Act and CDC may be required to release those names. We have not released this information by name in past years internally. CDC's Office of Workforce and Career Development is working with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to help create a system that is both equitable and transparent around awards and award notifications. (NAPA is an independent, non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability.)
If employees are not aware of award programs won't there be potential for inequities?
Well informed employees can best ensure their rights are protected. Therefore, CDC has an obligation to ensure that its federal employees are aware of policies and procedures, including those involved in cash awards. Information continues to be shared to help ensure that cash award programs are implemented fairly within and across CDC. CDC will also continue to discuss both monetary awards and the many honor awards that are available to CDC employees, including the Commissioned Corps.