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By Matt Murray for the NH Labor News
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I have talked a lot about the attacks on workers in the Federal Sector.  Lately there has been much discussion about the Lame Duck Session and Sequestration.  As the session opens a surprising move is made by nine members of the US House.

Government Executive reports that these Representatives have already signed a letter to all members that the Federal Employees have 'paid their fair share'.

Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va.; Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Frank R. Wolf, R-Va.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va.; Robert J. Wittman, R-Va.; Donna F. Edwards, D-Md.; John P. Sarbanes, D-Md.; and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., all signed the letter.
It is no surprise that all of these Reps surround the Washington D.C. area since these districts are very heavily populated with Federal workers.
"We respectfully request that you carefully consider the implications that any proposed agreement would have on these Americans so that it reflects the substantial budget savings that the federal workforce has contributed thus far."
Over the last two years Congress has trimmed the budget to a tune of $103 Billion dollars  right from the Federal workers pockets.  They accomplished this with combination of pay freezes and an increase in retirement contributions.

These nine House Reps are not alone.  The Senators are already making their statements to leave the Feds out of the debt deal.

“Sen. [Daniel] Akaka opposes using any employee benefit as a pay-for because federal workers are already sacrificing with the pay freeze and changes to annuity contributions for new employees,” Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for the Hawaii Democratic senator, told Government Executive.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Government Executive he thinks federal employees have paid their fair share.
“Federal workers have already sacrificed tens of billions of dollars over the past several years toward reducing the deficit,” Cummings said. “House Republicans should stop treating middle-class federal employees like a piggy bank they can raid without asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share. If we’re serious about resolving the fiscal cliff, we must take a balanced approach that includes both increased revenue and targeted spending cuts while protecting middle-class American workers.”
Labor unions have been up and down the hill working to protect the pay of the members. Recently a coalition of Postal and Federal unions wrote a letter of their own to Congress. They stated
"Federal and postal employees and their families are hardworking, middle-class Americans who are struggling during these tough times just like other Americans,” the group wrote. “No other group has been asked to financially contribute the way they have, and it is time our nation’s leaders found other ways to reduce the deficit than continually taking from those who have dedicated their lives to public service."
Federal employees must protect themselves from the crushing cuts that could be coming down on Federal workers.  With the help of some very powerful unions and allies on both sides of the aisle, the Federal employees may just make it through this round of budget cuts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Together We Can Fight Back Against The Attacks On Labor In America

    by NH LABOR NEWS on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:54:54 AM PST

  •  Some in Congress may have Feds' backs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blue Knight, Lepas

    Most don't.  And considering that President Obama didn't waste a second in punishing them with an unnecessary and blatantly unfair wage freeze, neither does he.

    •  President OBAMA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy

      has pushed the pay freeze until march but I hope that is as far as it goes.  He cannot tell people he supports workers and fair wages then tell his employees that they do not deserve anything more.

      Time will tell.

      Together We Can Fight Back Against The Attacks On Labor In America

      by NH LABOR NEWS on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:28:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not complaining (really!)... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barbwires

    but very senior Federal employees (and that includes some long-time but lower-salary people, like secretaries, technicians, etc.) who are in the CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) instead of the newer FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System) got a double whammy because we did not benefit from the Social Security tax break. (We don't pay into SS, we don't get SS.)

    I'm not complaining for myself -- my husband and I (both feds) are OK financially, though we're trying to recover from 9 years of college tuition payments, just ended.

    But since there aren't very many CSRS employees who haven't yet retired (I have almost 39 years now, husband about the same), we tend to be forgotten. And there are still many non-professional feds out there who are feeling these pay freezes.

    Not to mention that the pay freezes have affected the expected "high-three" calculation for the pension. That affects everyone, in both FERS and CSRS, and has probably been one factor in more than a few decisions to keep working longer than planned.

    "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

    by gfre on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 12:36:39 PM PST

  •  Glad to see there are some in Congress (0+ / 0-)

    doing the right thing.  I'm not a public sector employee, but I'm damn sick of the GOP using public sector employees at all levels as political punching bags.  You'd swear these public servants were no better than thieves, cheats, or perverts listening to the republicans talk.  

    You know what pisses me off more than republicans looking down on public employees?  

    Public employees who ARE republicans.  Talk about a hypocritical bunch of asses.....

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 07:45:58 PM PST

  •  Disagree .... vehemently (0+ / 0-)

    Many non federal workers would have welcomed a wage freeze as their pay over the past 4 years has dropped precipitously.

    Everyone should have to pay their bit including Federal Workers.

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