Contractor Executive Pay Soars as Federal Employees Near Rock Bottom


If you are prone to anger or sudden bursts of outrage, please look away from your screen. According to a recent piece in the Federal Times, lead executives at some of the largest government contractors are not just seeing their pay increase, but seeing it increase by millions in the space of just one year.

On March 1st of this year, when Lockheed Martin announced it would have to furlough thousands of employees due to the sequester, it also disclosed that it had boosted the pay of its former CEO by over two million dollars (he made a total of $27.5 million that year). At General Dynamics, another large contractor, the company’s CEO saw a $1.9 million dollar pay compensation boost between 2011 and 2012. At Raytheon, the company announced this Friday that CEO pay had risen by $1.4 million year over year. This trend holds for most other large contractors, with the exception of Northrup Grumman, whose executive pay actually declined over this period.

Nonetheless, at a time when federal workers are struggling under the weight of agency budget cuts, a three-year pay freeze, weeks of furloughs, and cuts to retirement benefits, such blatant disregard for shared sacrifice borders on insulting. While middle class federal workers are struggling to hang on, contractor executives – whose companies are either wholly or substantially funded with taxpayers’ dollars – are making off like bandits.

As the Federal Times rightfully put it: “even with the looming sequester, budget standoffs and defense setbacks, federal belt-tightening hasn’t yet hit the wallets of top executives for some of the nation’s biggest federal contractors.”

NFFE National President Dougan had his own opinion on the matter:

“Federal employees have stepped up and sacrificed more than any other group to reduce the debt,” said Dougan. “Why is Congress continually asking for more and more from federal employees when millionaire contract executives aren’t being asked to do a thing? Federal employees and all other American taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners, and it’s time someone does something about it.”