Primary Navigation for the CDC Website
CDC en Español

CDC In the News

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:

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
GS $143,000 $183,500
SBRS $183,500 $183,500
SES (with OPM certified performance system) $165,200 $212,100
Title 42 $250,000 $275,000

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:

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?

What are the types of monetary awards employees may receive at CDC?

For more information about the CDC awards information, including the Distinguished Senior Professional and Executive Rank Award, visit:

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.



Overall 2000-2006

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.

Page last modified: 10/27/2006