National President Dougan Pens Letter to Congress Urging ‘No’ Vote on Pay Freeze Extension
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 216-4458
Washington, D.C. – With the House of Representatives anticipated to vote on H.R. 273 – a measure to extend the federal pay freeze through 2013 – this week, NFFE National President William R. Dougan drafted a letter to members urging a ‘No’ vote on the damaging measure.
“Federal workers have already made significant sacrifices to help ease the burden of our national debt,” Dougan wrote. “We swallowed hard and accepted a pay freeze lasting more than two years, which has been a great burden to federal workers and their families that are struggling just like everyone else in this tough economy. In addition, new hires into the civil service are now forced to contribute nearly four times as much to their pensions to receive the same retirement benefit as their peers. In all, federal employees have sacrificed $103 billion toward deficit reduction through cuts to pay and benefits over the last three years.”
The $103 billion in cuts already levied against federal employees is a difficult burden to bear, one that will only grow worse with time. On average, these cuts will cost $50,000 per federal worker over ten years – essentially a tax that each must pay to continue serving their country. If sequestration hits, this will be just the beginning.
“Sadly, these targeted deficit reduction measures aimed at federal workers’ pay and benefits represent just the tip-of-the-iceberg in how the U.S. civil service is being squeezed by spending cuts,” said Dougan. “Thousands of federal workers throughout government are being laid off as the result of the current continuing resolution, which as you know required billions in cuts across federal agencies. Further spending reductions are possible in Fiscal Year 2013 as the result of sequestration or an agreement lawmakers could potentially reach to avert it. All of these cuts to discretionary programs fall disproportionately hard on the federal workforce.”
With the possibility of Congress reaching a deal to avert sequestration, there are also risks for even greater cuts to federal compensation and jobs. To National President Dougan, any further cuts are unacceptable.
“Federal employees have already done more than their fair share when it comes to deficit reduction, and with such broad cuts to agency budgets on the horizon they will certainly be asked to sacrifice more,” said Dougan. “However, asking federal employees to accept another year of frozen pay in addition to what they are already contributing is nothing more than adding insult to injury. Enough is enough.”
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Established in 1917, the National Federation of Federal Employees is the oldest union representing civil service federal employees. NFFE represents approximately 110,000 federal employees in nearly 40 separate departments and agencies government-wide. NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. For more information, go to www.nffe.org.