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Energy Department freezes salaries of SRS workers

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The U.S. Department of Energy will freeze salaries and halt bonus pool increases for as many as 75,000 workers at 28 sites across the U.S., including more than 10,000 of the 13,000 employees associated with Savannah River Site in Aiken County.

After President Obama's recent proposal for a two-year pay freeze for all civilian federal workers, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a decision Friday to freeze salaries for site and facility management contractor workers who supervise day-to-day operations at certain DOE sites and facilities, including national laboratories.

Jim Giusti, an Energy Department spokesman at SRS, said employees at Savannah River Site, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Savannah River Remediation and Wackenhut Services will be affected by the pay freeze.

The previously announced federal pay freeze affects about 400 federal employees at the site, he said.

Chu said the freeze at the DOE's 28 sites and facilities will be effective Jan. 1. For sites that have already approved and implemented increases, the freeze would begin at the beginning of their next salary increase cycle and also last two years.

"As our nation continues to recover from these challenging economic times, households and small businesses across the country are making sacrifices," Chu said. "In this spirit, we are asking our contractor employees, who are doing important research, operations, and environmental cleanup work, to join the federal work force in playing a part."

Salary freezes are just part of the personnel picture at SRS, where the main management contractor -- Savannah River Nuclear Solutions -- is planning to reduce its work force by as many as 1,400 positions by August. So far, more than 300 employees have applied for voluntary separation programs, and layoffs are expected to begin early next year.

Employees who choose voluntary separation are offered the same severance benefits as those chosen later for layoffs, according to company officials.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

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Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/17/10 - 01:08 pm
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Sorry folks. The rest of us

Sorry folks. The rest of us have been taking pay cuts for a few years already. Join the club. This was inevitable.

follower
133
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follower 12/17/10 - 02:20 pm
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Why did it take 3 years to

Why did it take 3 years to come to this conclusion? We in the business world had to take immediate action because the alternative was that no one had a job.

Oh, that's right, they don't have to live within their means.

wildman
1330
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wildman 12/17/10 - 03:00 pm
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Always under a Dumocrat

Always under a Dumocrat president.

ReformedRepub
0
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ReformedRepub 12/17/10 - 03:17 pm
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I'm sorry, but there are two

I'm sorry, but there are two parties in this government, and NEITHER is blameless. The Publicans added to the deficit with the tax cuts, the Democrats with unemployment. Look at all the past budgets, they BOTH have contributed to the problem. Guess what that means. WE are the problem, all of us that have been on the extremes of either political belief.There is no longer a center, only far left or right. How long do any of us think either extreme can work? There has been a path of greed that we have put our government on for a hundred years, dating back to removal of the gold standard in order to be able to manipulate the value of our currency. I don't honestly believe that there is a remedy any more, as no one would be willing to put our country and the world into a Depression such as none of us can imagine. Doesn't anyone see that we are not what we own or how much we earn? I really believe we all want too much. I've lost everything in my life twice, and finally realized it's about who I am, not what I am. I believed, talked and acted just like you whom I oppose now, yet my pride cost me everything. I had to change, and so does this country.

deb1953
37
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deb1953 12/17/10 - 03:23 pm
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It's about time!!! Our

It's about time!!! Our underworked and overpaid public servants need to do the same!!!! I think the paycuts should start at the top & work down!!!

follower
133
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follower 12/17/10 - 04:50 pm
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Reformed, I agree with much

Reformed, I agree with much of your post, especially the part about a person being more than the sum total of their possessions. I also agree that the blame lies on Congress, period. Both parties are guilty. Nothing is passed without them. Presidents set agendas, but are, or should be tempered by Congress.

My disagreement pertains to the solution.

Congress doesn't have the backbone to make tough decisions in cutting the budget. While compassion is expected in such an affluent society, the mindset now from those who are assisted is one of expectation, rather than gratitude. They expect a "handout" rather than "help" up.

What happened to pride? Integrity? Character? Self-help? The "I can do it" mentality? Those ideals have been eroded in our citizenry. And it appears we have been the primary enablers by giving to the point that the recipients believe they are "entitled".

I have the utmost compassion for those in need. I have the utmost contempt for those that would leach.

I'm not prepared to give up on this country. I am prepared to hold accountable those that don't contribute through apathy.

bettyboop
8
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bettyboop 12/18/10 - 07:09 am
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Wow.. I am going to agree

Wow.. I am going to agree with reformed! to a point....but I am also going to agree with follower...I too am not ready to give up on my Country.....

edwardc
1
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edwardc 12/18/10 - 08:52 am
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Better late than never.

Better late than never. There is way too much wasted tax-payer money down there, Lindsay.

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