Prepare a 3- to 4-page (excluding title page) double-spaced, typewritten essay in response to one of the topics outlined below. The essay will be evaluated based on your ability to incorporate relevant information and materials presented in the course and through required or suggested readings (50% of grade) and on your ability to communicate your point of view effectively in writing (50% of grade). The essay will account for 16% of your overall course grade. Before you begin preparing your written assignment, be sure to review the Tips for Good Writing document and the Essay Rubric located in the Getting Started section of this course.
Choose one of the following topics for your essay:
- President Obama proposed a 1.3% percent pay increase for civilian Federal employees as part of his 2016 budget. Federal employees have received two pay increases, totaling 2.0%, since 2010, while the Employment Cost Index has increased by about 9.6% during the same period. Choose ONE of the following key stakeholders and evaluate the President's proposal from that stakeholder's perspective: (a) current Federal employees, (b) prospective Federal employees, (c) supervisors or managers of Federal employees, (d) taxpayers (who are not Federal employees), (e) Republicans in Congress, or (f) Democrats in Congress.
- Briefly describe the legal environment within which Federal departments and agencies must operate their compensation and benefits programs. Provide illustrations of the most important effects this environment has on the management and operation of these programs. In your judgment, which aspects of the legal environment are most challenging? Why?
- Briefly describe the General Schedule position classification system. To what extent does this system carry out the principle of "internal equity"? In your judgment, is criticism of the General Schedule position classification system justified? Why or why not?
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