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Fair and Equitable Treatment: A Progress Report. John Crum, Ph.D., Deputy Director Cynthia Ferentinos, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist Office of Policy and Evaluation U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board Blacks in Government 29 th Annual National Training Conference August 15, 2007.

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Fair and equitable treatment a progress report

Fair and Equitable Treatment: A Progress Report

John Crum, Ph.D., Deputy Director

Cynthia Ferentinos, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist

Office of Policy and Evaluation

U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board

Blacks in Government

29th Annual National Training Conference

August 15, 2007


Our purpose today
Our Purpose Today

  • Share initial findings of our research.

  • Facilitate a discussion around the current state of the Federal workforce in terms of diversity and fair and equitable treatment.



Current research
Current Research

  • Methodology

    - Literature review

    - Workforce data

    - Survey data

    - Discussion groups

    - Interviews


Context
Context

  • Overall, Blacks are employed in the Federal workforce at a higher rate than the Civilian Labor Force (CLF).

  • However, Blacks are not proportionately represented at all pay levels.

  • Black employees responding to the Merit Principles Survey since 1992 have noted a significant drop in racial discrimination, but still report more discrimination than some other groups.





Possible explanations for the high representation of blacks in the federal government
Possible Explanations for the High Representation of Blacks in the Federal Government

  • Federal jobs are often located in urban settings

  • Occupational distribution

  • Federal Government viewed as a good employer

    • Training/career opportunities

    • Merit principles = fair treatment


Assessment issues
Assessment Issues in the Federal Government

  • Entry level hiring

  • Mid level hiring

  • Senior level hiring

  • Occupation-specific issues


Pay issues
Pay Issues in the Federal Government

  • Distribution of Black employees by pay grade

  • Comparison of salaries by occupation

  • Impact of pay for performance



Possible reasons for pay differences
Possible Reasons for Pay Differences in the Federal Government

  • Occupational distribution

  • Education

  • Discrimination


Educational attainment
Educational Attainment in the Federal Government


Retention issues
Retention Issues in the Federal Government

  • Turnover rate: 2.6% (quits) very similar to the overall average of 2.3%


Perceptions of blacks
Perceptions of Blacks in the Federal Government

  • Results from MSPB’s Merit Principles Survey from 1989 through 2005.

  • Mixed reactions from Black employees.










Do perceptions match reality
Do Perceptions Match Reality? pay?

  • Next steps:

    • Further workforce and compensation analyses, including examining promotion rates.

    • Follow up survey to compare perceptions over time on specific issues related to fair treatment.


How do we get to parity
How Do We Get to Parity? pay?

  • Analyze results of hiring methods for impact on representation, with attention to grade level.

  • Be prepared to take advantage of upcoming opportunities through retirements.

  • Pay attention to pipeline and keep diversity in mind during succession planning.


Future opportunities for change
Future opportunities for change pay?

  • Government-wide solutions

  • Agency-specific approaches

  • Individual strategies


What can the federal government do
What Can the Federal Government Do? pay?

  • Improved assessment methods

  • Consider the impact of various hiring authorities

  • Set appropriate expectations for representation


What can agencies do
What Can Agencies Do? pay?

  • Monitor representation of demographic groups and act appropriately.

  • Hold managers accountable for their decisions.

  • Use assessment methods that fairly evaluate qualifications and/or potential for advancement.

  • Provide equal opportunity for career-enhancing experiences


What can you do
What Can You Do? pay?

  • Pursue education, training, developmental opportunities, etc.

  • Gain valuable experience.

  • Seek job opportunities/agencies that are aligned with your goals.




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