DENVER – The union that represents employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is going on the offensive to show their bosses where money can be saved to reduce the number of required furlough days. [more] 4-8-2013
Tell your lawmakers what direct impact of furlough will have on you, your family, and your neighbors and friends [more]
AFGE's General Counsel David Borer appeared on Fox Business' Neil Cavuto program to talk about the financial impact on government workers due to the furloughs caused by the sequester. [more] 3-27-2013
On March 20, AFGE members from across the country participated in 100 rallies as a part of AFGE's National Day of Action to protest sequestration and furloughs. [View Photos]
AFGE held a news conference at the National Press Club to detail the damaging effects of sequestration on working families.
Here are two documents related to the conversion of civilian jobs to military personnel. The first is a summary of rules that bar the Department of Defense from converting civilian functions to military performance solely because of sequestration. The second is a sample letter that Locals can use to request that any conversions of civilian positions to military positions be reversed.
What does the perception of wealth distribution in the U.S. look versus actual wealth distribution.
Jacque Simon appeared on C-SPAN's, "Washington Journal," to discuss sequestration and the role of AFGE during this sequestration period. [more] 3-5-2013
See the interview in myfoxdc.om
By J. David Cox, Sr.
AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr. wrote this editorial about sequestration that was featured in Bloomberg BNA.
It's no wonder the onset of sequestration leaves federal employees feeling as if they got stuck with the check, while service contractors pick a convenient time to go for a smoke or visit the bathroom. Although much of the recent increase in the federal government's discretionary spending can be attributed to increasing service contract costs—for example, in the Department of Defense (DOD), spending on service contracts has more than doubled over the last ten years while civilian personnel costs have held steady—agencies are complying with sequestration by imposing vastly disproportionate sacrifices on federal employees.
The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) January 14 sequestration guidance promotes several recommendations for cutting spending on federal employees, including freezing hiring, firing temporary and term federal employees, incentivizing retirement, and planning for extensive furloughs. However, with respect to service contracts, OMB's guidance, deferentially and almost apologetically, directs agencies to review “contracts to determine where cost savings may be achieved in a manner that is consistent with the applicable terms and conditions, remaining mindful of the manner in which individual contracts…advance the core mission of the agency”.
The Department of Defense's January 10 sequestration guidance imposes the usual panoply of cuts on civilian employees. Components have already frozen hiring and begun firing tens of thousands of temporary and term civilian employees. The Department will make particular use of furloughs, requiring most civilian employees to undergo 22 days of forced leave, the equivalent of a 20 percent cut in pay for an already modestly paid workforce. However, with respect to service contracts, DOD's guidance merely directs components to “review contracts and studies for possible savings.”
How do federal agencies manage to overlook the $300 billion annually they spend on service contracts when it's time to rack up the funding reductions required by sequestration? OMB officials insist that they have had behind-the-scenes discussions with agencies about how they can reduce their reliance on service contracts. However, if the interest in cutting service contracts is so intense, why is this course of action all but ignored in OMB's guidance?
DOD's Comptroller admits that he is the man without a plan. In a February 20 press conference, a reporter doggedly attempted to induce Comptroller Robert Hale to say how sequestration would impact the $200 billion the Department spends annually on service contracts:
Let me try one more specifically on the service contractor workforce. The department has described them as part of the total force many times. You seem like you have a pretty solid plan on the civilian workforce and how you're going to handle that and how they're going to contribute to the O&M reductions. Is there a similar detailed plan on the contractor workforce?
Hale struggled to answer—before acknowledging that they have not figured it out:
“Well, it's managed differently, in the sense that we go out to the private sector and — and order services, and they, of course, manage their workforce, so we wouldn't be involved in that. We are developing plans with increasing levels of detail for the — what we would buy from the private sector, in the process of looking at all of our investment programs, 2,500 of them — it takes a lot of work — to figure out what we won't do to accommodate sequestration cuts and similarly in the service contract area.I won't tell you all of that's done, but we're — we're moving along well. I think we will be ready for sequestration, if we have to, by March 1. And under the law, we owe a detailed spend plan by April 1. And that would give more fidelity on exactly the changes.But in terms of managing the workforce, that's really something that will be done by the private companies. (Emphasis added.)
Contractors and contracting officers know very well that agencies have significant discretion to retrieve precious dollars obligated on service contracts. In fact, a few minutes on the internet turn up several postings from contractor lawyers warning their clients what steps agencies might take to reduce their reliance on service contracts during sequestration. I have met program managers in several agencies who are keenly interested in cutting spending on their service contracts in order to avoid furloughing federal employees. However, these program managers didn't know what was required and they feared that their agency's senior management would not back them up when long-entrenched and well-connected contractors inevitably resisted making the sort of sacrifices routinely expected of federal employees.
That's why I asked Professor Charles Tiefer, a distinguished law school professor, and a procurement law expert who had served with distinction on the Wartime Commission on Wartime Contracting, to write a brief memorandum demystifying the procurement process. As Professor Tiefer pointed out, agencies can pause task orders, partially terminate contracts for convenience, and impose deductive change orders and reductions by bilateral modifications in order to generate the savings required by sequestration.
Contractors sputtered with rage at Professor Tiefer for reminding contracting officers that service contracts are instruments of the agencies, rather than the reverse. Some contractors complained that Professor Tiefer wrote that almost all of the savings required by sequestration should come from service contractors. In fact, Professor Tiefer wrote that agencies retain such discretion over the procurement process that “from 70 percent to 90 percent of the savings otherwise required by sequestration to be cut out of in-house personnel funding instead could come from reductions in service contract spending.”
Professor Tiefer's invaluable contribution notwithstanding, contractors still hope to take advantage of ignorance about the procurement process. Some Washington, D.C., decision-makers believe that once dollars are obligated for service contracts they are irretrievably forever lost to the taxpayers. This is, of course, wrong. The question is not whether agencies have awarded a service contract or obligated dollars for a service contract, but whether the agency has incurred contractual liability for services performed—i.e., whether the contractor has actually accomplished all or a part of the contracted work, thus necessitating payment.
Although a contract might be awarded for a specified amount (if either a fixed-price or cost-reimbursement contract) or even for an indefinite amount (if an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract), an agency could obligate for less than the full amount of the contract. This will be particularly true for ID/IQ contracts, cost-type contracts, and even some fixed-price contracts. For example, an ID/IQ contract may be awarded with a value of $100 million, but only a fraction of this will represent a firm obligation.
In cases where no liability (or only partial liability) has been established, the government may resort to various contract scope reduction strategies that agencies routinely use— e.g., partial terminations for convenience, deductive change orders, or the pausing of ID/IQ orders, as discussed in Professor Tiefer's memorandum. All of these strategies would limit or actually reduce existing contractual “obligations,” if taken in a timely fashion, i.e., before the contractor really got much work done. Whether money obligated for service contracts can be deobligated depends on the remedies used by the agency and the extent of established contractual liability (if any). The important point is that an agency's contractual obligation may or may not ripen depending on the timeliness of any action to limit or reduce that obligation. In many cases, the scaling back or descoping of such contracts, and the directly associated reduction in the agency's contractual obligation are directly linked.
Some Washington, DC, decision-makers are also confused about termination costs and penalties. In some instances, an agency's contractual liability may be such that the contractor may be entitled to termination costs in order to offset at least partial performance by the contractor. However, in some instances it will make more sense for the agency to pay this termination cost than to insist on comparable savings coming from the in-house workforce because the in-house function is a higher priority than the contractor function. And penalties, which are included in some large weapons contracts, are very infrequently used in the service contract context.
I certainly don't take the position that spending on all service contracts can be stopped or reduced when money has been obligated. However, no one should take the position that service contract dollars can't be reclaimed even after money has been obligated.
If sequestration should take effect, it is imperative that disproportionate sacrifice not be imposed on one part of the federal workforce. To the extent OMB's and DOD's sequestration guidance does not provide comparable direction and detail for cutting spending on both the federal and contractors workforces, then it is likely that one workforce will be subjected to more scrutiny than the other—and thus be required to make greater sacrifices than the other. This is not just potentially unfair to one workforce, but it also could result in poor policy decisions.
And, significantly, it will make sequestration last longer. The administration is counting on the pain produced by sequestration to force congressional Republicans to accept an alternative to sequestration. However, most Congressional Republicans favor contractors over federal employees, and the administration's one-sided sequestration guidance gladdens their hearts. As Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Politico: “With all due respect to people who want to save federal employees, the fact is that making cuts in the number of employees is what we should be doing.” Only when their favored constituency feels pain will Republicans be inclined to negotiate responsibly with President Obama. When senior administration officials decided to impose disproportionate sacrifices on federal employees in order to comply with sequestration, it was as much a political blunder as it was a policy debacle.
The Air Force has compiled a list of how many civilians will have to be furloughed at each base to accommodate pending budget cuts, as well as how much the service will save per base.
The list, obtained by Inside the Air Force, shows that Robins Air Force Base, GA, will suffer the most civilian furloughs. The Air Force projects that it can save more than $110 million simply by placing 14,205 Robins AFB civilian workers on furlough, the document shows. Tinker Air Force Base, OK, would see 14,206 civilian furloughs, saving the Air Force more than $109 million. Also among the top three bases to feel the brunt impact of the furloughs is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, which will see 12,595 civilians furloughed, providing the service with a savings of about $98 million.
Pentagon civilian employees also factor into those savings. To free up $16 million, the Air Force will have to furlough 2,052 civilian employees employed at the Pentagon. The service also plans to furlough 202 civilians working at the Russell-Knox Building in Quantico.
The Air Force is facing major budget cuts in March, which is why the service has prepared, in advance of those budget cuts, a base-by-base plan for the furloughs. On March 1, sequestration -- a $500 billion across-the-board budget cut that would impact the entire Defense Department, eating away at its financial plans for the next 10 years -- could be implemented if Congress cannot agree on an alternative budget plan that would spare DOD from the bulk of the budget cuts. In addition, the service faces the possibility of coping with a yearlong continuing resolution that, if implemente, would begin on March 27. The two budget cuts combined have made it difficult for the Air Force to prepare for future budgets and also forced the service to prepare for a worst-case scenario.
The Air Force has already has taken actions to alleviate some of the fiscal pressures that the combined budget cuts pose, such as instituting a hiring freeze and scaling back on some of its military construction projects.
-- Maggie Ybarra
According to White House figures, the $85 billion in sequestration budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1 would likely mean hiring freezes, furloughs and staffing reductions at the Defense Department, FBI, Border Patrol and Transportation Security Administration.
It could also mean:
Half of the cuts would hit the Defense Department alone. Last week, the Obama administration said it will exempt military personnel programs from sequestration. While the move may quell some of the worry of service members losing their jobs or bonuses next year as a result of the budget impasse, the announcement carries with it bad news for other parts of the defense budget, according to Military Times.
By exempting the account for military pay, benefits and change of station travel from cuts if the once unimaginable across-the-board cuts come in January, the Obama administration would have to make even deeper cuts in other defense programs.
If all programs were treated equally, every account would be cut by about 8 percent, according to senior House Armed Services Committee aides who spoke with reporters before the White House letter was received. With personnel exempt, every defense program faces a 12 percent cut, the aides said.
At this point, it’s unclear whether the standoff between the White House and Congress will be resolved before the sequestration cuts take effect.
For more information on this topic, please visit Americans for Tax Fairness and Below is an Aug. 3 report on the sequestration crisis from the PBS News Hour:
AFGE Public Policy Director Jacque Simon appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal television program to discuss sequestration (the fiscal cliff) and the potential impact on federal employees and government agencies. [more] 12-17-2012
Listen to in-depth fiscal cliff analysis as “Inside Government” Host Jason Fornicola talks to AFGE Public Policy Director Jacque Simon, Common Cause President and CEO and former Congressman Bob Edgar (D-Pa.) and Economic Policy Institute Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens about the impact on federal employees and what a deal might look like. In addition, Simon detailed premium increases in the 2013 Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan while Edgar addressed election protection and Senate filibuster reform. Bivens also shared EPI’s budget proposal, which focuses on creating jobs and strengthening the social safety net.
WARNING: Federal employees should not play the video below using a government computer, on duty time or while on federal property. To do so would be a violation of the Hatch Act
A study released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office details dire consequences if Congress does not take action to avert the massive spending cuts set to occur in January under sequestration.
The CBO study predicts that the U.S. economy will sink into a deep recession and unemployment will jump from 8.3 percent today to 9 percent by the middle of next year.
As Reuters reported:
Massive U.S. government spending cuts and tax hikes due next year will cause even worse economic damage than previously thought if Washington fails to come up with a solution, the Congressional Budget Office warned on Wednesday.
Without action by Congress to avoid a “fiscal cliff,” Americans should expect a “significant recession” and the loss of some 2 million jobs, CBO director Doug Elmendorf said in his gloomiest assessment yet.
While the White House and Congress seem to agree that allowing sequestration to take effect would be catastrophic, they continue to be at odds over how to resolve the stalemate. As New York Times reported:
The House speaker, John A. Boehner, said the report showed an urgent need for legislation to stop the impending tax increases and the looming cuts in military spending.
“Instead of threatening to drive us off the fiscal cliff and tank our economy in their quest for higher taxes, I would urge President Obama and Congressional Democrats to work with us,” said Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican.
The White House said Republicans were blocking a solution.
“They’re willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires,” said Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary.
To accompany its report, CBO put out a handy infographic that summarizes the impact of sequestration and what would happen if the massive cuts are averted (seen in the graphic as “An Alternative Fiscal Scenario”). Click for a larger version:
Federal workers have endured $103 billion in cuts, yet nation’s top earners have sacrificed nothing
WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest federal employee union, is urging lawmakers to oppose additional cuts to federal employee salaries and benefits during talks over how to reduce the nation’s deficit.
AFGE has sent letters to every lawmaker in the House and Senate, reminding them that federal workers have endured cuts to their wages and pensions totaling $103 billion over 10 years. Federal employees have not received a pay raise since January 2010, while federal employees hired after the end of this year will pay four times more for their pensions than current workers.
“To date, federal employees and their families are the lone group of Americans who have made sacrifices to deficit reduction,” AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten wrote in the letters. “We have suffered cuts worth more than $100 billion over ten years, all of which were made to reduce deficits. Enough is enough. It’s time for others to step up.”
Specifically, Moten said Congress should enact pending legislation that would lower the cap on taxpayer-subsidized salaries for federal government contractors. The current cap has tripled since 1995 and now totals $763,029 – nearly twice as much as the president of the United States earns each year. Lowering the cap to the Vice President’s salary – currently $230,700 – would save at least $5 billion a year, according to senior Defense leaders.
“The loyal, patriotic, working class and middle class Americans who make up the civilian federal workforce have done their part to address the budget deficit. I strongly urge you to turn your attention to those who have not yet sacrificed. The best place to start is with federal contractor compensation,” Moten said.
In addition to the letters, AFGE has set up telephone hotlines so federal employees can call their representatives and senators directly and urge them to oppose any cuts to pay and benefits for working class Americans. The House hotline number is 1-888-907-5171; the Senate number is 1-888-907-8362.
Additional information, including a copy of the AFGE letter to lawmakers, can be found atwww.theycutyoupay.org.
The information below is based largely on a briefing by Robert Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Defense, given at a Government Executive event on 9/25/2012.
Without consideration of potential sequester or the McCain 5% cuts, DoD has already implemented several budget cuts that impact civilians: two phases of management efficiencies, a reduction in the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO), and an almost $500 billion reduction over 10 years. [more] 10-16-2012
By Kellie Lunney, Gov. Exec.
September 25, 2012
There’s been plenty of public hand-wringing in Washington lately about the disastrous effects of sequestration. In fact, sequestration has gotten so much play that we can use the word in headlines now. The automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that will hit every federal agency (except the Veterans Affairs Department) will take effect Jan. 2, 2013, unless lawmakers block them. Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget has been scant, mostly because everyone wants to believe Thelma and Louise won’t drive off the cliff this time. Still, agencies across government likely will have to furlough employees to comply with the spending cuts, which amount to a whopping 9.4 percent in nonexempt defense discretionary funding and 8.2 percent in nonexempt nondefense discretionary funding in fiscal 2013. With Congress in recess until mid-November, the clock is ticking. So, what’s your agency doing about it? Take our poll here and email firstname.lastname@example.org with additional information about sequestration planning (or lack thereof) at your agency.
AFGE HUD Council Vice President Carolyn Federoff discusses with Campaign for America’s Future’s Isaiah Poole the REAL impact that federal budget cuts to reduce the deficit would have on Americans and public services.
The White House today issued a 400-page report, required by Congress, that details the devastating effects of sequestration on federal programs and services.
According to the report, sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent cut in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs.
As the report makes clear, “sequestration would have a devastating impact on important defense and nondefense programs.
While the Department of Defense would be able to shift funds to ensure war fighting and critical military readiness capabilities were not degraded, sequestration would result in a reduction in readiness of many non-deployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts, and reductions in base services for military families.
On the nondefense side, sequestration would undermine investments vital to economic growth, threaten the safety and security of the American people, and cause severe harm to programs that benefit the middle-class, seniors, and children. Education grants to States and local school districts supporting smaller classes, afterschool programs, and children with disabilities would suffer. The number of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and federal prosecutors would be slashed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage the Nation’s airspace and air traffic control would be reduced. The Department of Agriculture’s efforts to inspect food processing plants and prevent foodborne illnesses would be curtailed.The Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe would be degraded. The National Institutes of Health would have to halt or curtail scientific research, including needed research into cancer and childhood diseases. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to respond to incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events would be undermined. And critical housing programs and food assistance for low-income families would be cut.
AFGE has called on Congress to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of earners, which would generate $1 trillion in new revenue and allow these detrimental across-the-board cuts to be avoided.
I'm a part-time Meat Cutter Defense Commissary Agency, 17 years. We are a Customer Service Oriented entity of the DOD. Furlough is a joke and a idiotic idea. Will prove No pay off No gain No result. Kicks employees/workers in the wallet pocket the most. I can't believe our elected Represenatives see Sequestor as a tool to fix and fund the Stutus Quo. I'd be embarrassed to call myself a Leader in Washington, DC/Capital Hill these Days. Do better do more do us right! It is what is is, be calm and carry on. That's what the Romans once said. I see the light at the end of the tunnel... it's very dim. Pray
Anyone can say that they will take a 5-10% pay cut. This isn't getting my vote. What would is if these powers that be don't take mine. Now that person would definitely get my vote.
I do not think the Sequestration is good for the DOD employees, plus it will have a ripple effect on the economy. I hope our members of congress and the senate can come up with a better solution(s). As a DOD employee I have not seen an increase in my pay the last 3 years, yet I am asked to do more with less. Thanks for all your hard work in keeping our COUNTRY strong, cvega
I have worked hard for the government for over 30 years. Now I feel that I am being punish for doing nothing wrong. Just doing my job. My family and I will suffer do to the pay we are being cut. Also, my wife is a federal employee and she is being affected as well. That is 2 pay check that will be cut short. Please re-look at this furlough and not punish us hard workers.
Call off the sequester. It is a blatant display of infringing upon citizens right to work and feed their families. 20% of our pay is like you loosing 90% of your high pay. We can't afford the cut!
I would really like for this sequestration to be cancelled. It is very frustrating to have to deal with those furlough days coming up. I dread it.
They have 6 contractor employees to every government worker in my office- and they aren't getting any cut in pay. In fact, they are bringing more support contractors(cash cows) in. Govt employees get sent home and the contractors who supposedly cannot undertake governmental functions are left in the office alone. Something's not right.
As a resident of Utah those affected by sequestration cuts to Hill AFB, and other funded agencies, will impact more than the individuals. The loss of income will result in lower sales for businesses, lower sales tax revenue, and on....
Somehow all the Americans working for government and for private industry have to come together about trust. That we all must work together for the benefit of the whole. And as a Federal employee, I am a civil servant who chose this work to serve my country. That as a federal employee who swore the oath to the Consititution, that I will not tolerate the waste fraud and abuse that happens in government. It is wrong for those at the top to move from industry to government and back. That just will not work for us nor should any of us tolerate it. I do hope that my Union somehow takes leadership in making the discussion happen. Sequestration...My collegues and I, who work in Army Medicine, will be taking a 20% pay cut too. Let the discussion begin please! Thank you.
Stop all federal furloughs. No way to balance a budget. Look and see all the excessive spending by lawmakers themselves. Why should federal employees have to pay for it.
I just think Congress should set the example and cut their own pay and benefits. They get multiple paid weeks off for every occasion. We federal employees only get our earned annual leave at a rate set many many years ago. As the surveys have shown, federal workers are more educated and experienced than our counterparts in the private sector yet we are held down in grade and pay by antiquated laws. Congress needs to get off their asses and pass budgets that are fair to federal workers and agencies. They need to stop catering to their lobyist friends and raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. They have so many tax loopholes. We regular citizens have to pay our taxes, we don't qualify for any loopholes. I say vote all new people in during the next elections. Get some fresh blood in office and maybe they will be a little more willing to work for the people instead of working for the lobyists and corporations. Give us federal workers raises, stop cutting our benefits, protect our health care benefits and stop the rising costs. We are the people who keep the government running. Congress needs to take care of us like they do their rich friends.
Shared Sacrifice is a thing in the past. Instead of going forward we have gone backwards. We now have anti American worker for the pleasure of the few whom never known shared sacrifice since the 60's. This in itself has happened in the past and is now happening. The silver spooned will be eating their own soon. The so called Sequester, Chained CPI is nothing new as was Boxer Rebellion, Vets storming Capitol after WW1 etc. History does repeat itself. But it has come almost in time with another ugly history item from the past in 1800's. The Civil War. I or another American want to see this ugly thing rear it's head, but really think about it we are heading that way. If we don't take the moment and sit down and negotiate with our brains,instaed of our posteriors, then history will reflect we failed have our future generations.Personally, I am a Disabled Veteran, DOD worker, Union member/ex officer and am tired of class warfare. In conclusion Sit down and negotiate, damn it, or we all will pay.
I expect exltcay that for our Nation's leaders to GET BACK TO WORK! I was appalled that they took the Christmas holiday break while our Nation is hanging on a Fiscal Cliff they built. Our service members are deployed around the globe to support and defend at the pleasure of our Congress, but they thought they deserved a holiday with their families? That really struck a nerve in me, as the sacrifice and commitment required of all Americans should start with our Nation's leaders. They should lead from the front in this. Military families know sacrifice already I know a 10 year old whose daddy is gone for a 4th Christmas of her young life. It is a shame to me that Congress left town at such a critical time.
There is a disconnect beweetn saying these cuts are reducing the increase YoY and how the cuts are actually being implemented. Here in Dayton, the DoD civilians (engineers, program managers, testers, contracts officers, etc.) who run the Air Force's acquisition programs (fighters, bombers, UAVs, cargo transports, etc.) are about to be furloughed 1 day a week for 22 weeks beweetn end of April and end of the gov't FY in September. All the civilians at numerous other installations that manage development, acquisition, and sustainment not only for the Air Force but Army and Navy are also being furloughed. So that means a 20% slowdown in execution of those programs. I think it's disingenuous for people to characterize these cuts as a reduction in the increase to the budget for affected agencies. The DoD civilians get paid what they get paid. They aren't getting paid 20% more than they got last year, but they are being furloughed while SS, Medicare, and other unconstitutional programs and agencies are not touched. Defense is one of the few Constitutionally authorized cabinet departments.
If you are looking to place the blame on why Sequestration happened, you have to understand the triggers in the law. Basically, if Congress did not pass appropriations that were signed by the President, that met spending limits sequestration went into effect. The House Republicans completed their part last summer. Senate Democrats completed their work in subcommittees by last September, but the bills never made it to the floor of the Senate for debate and vote. The one person who should be held responsible is Sen Harry Reid. As Senate Majority Leader, he has the responsibility to bring legislation forward and the ability to block it. By the way, the law that created sequestration was passed because by Republicans in the House, by Democrats in the Senate, and signed by a Democrat in the White House. Both parties are responsible.
DoD civilians are paid out of Operations & Maintenance (O&M) funds. The O&M budget increased by 6% in 2013. If funds available to pay civilians in DoD went up, why is the Pentagon and White House calling for furloughs?
My message is specifically about furloughs being cancelled. I would like the Senate or House of Representives to pressure the DOD to use the funds ($10 billion)allocated to them by law for there its intended use. I think that the Federal Government Employees Union should then be able to go back and get our salaries back, due to unfair labor practices. because they do not have shortage funds they are arbitrarily making and adjustment in pay that is not consistance with what Congress has allocated them for them.
Professor Slater also debunks the myth of the ovelry paid public servant, including the belief that public-sector pension plans are always too generous. Who do you think you're kidding? This sort of dishonest BS is the reason every local and state government (in those parts of the country dominated by public sector unions) are going broke. Are you just a hack, or are you financially illiterate? Because it's one or the other. Do the math:A typical non public safety worker in California's state or local governments will get a pension based on the following formula: 2.5%, times years worked, times final annual salary. That equates to a pension of nearly $70,000 per year for the typical participant in CalPERS or CalSTRS who retired in recent years and worked 30 years or more. And it isn't just public safety employees, with average pensions that are now nearly $100,000 per year, who skew the average upwards. The average California teacher now gets a pension that averages about $68,000 per year. Let's keep this in perspective, by the way, the MAXIMUM social security benefit is $31,000 per year. And self-employed people contribute 10.5% of their gross earnings to pay for that benefit, which is a higher percentage contribution than virtually ALL public sector workers have to make to their pensions.The averages you see coming from the unions and from the pension funds are deliberately understated because they include people who didn't work a full career, as well as people who retired 10+ years ago and weren't eligible under the elevated qualifying salaries and elevated pension formulas that were passed during the internet bubble and the real estate bubble.Maybe you can comprehend this: If every Californian over the age of 55 (that's about 10 million people) got a pension of $70,000 per year, it would cost $700 billion per year, which is about 40% of California's entire GDP. Do you really think taxing the rich can pay for this?To throw a slightly more arcane, but absolutely necessary concept at you, one you have to grasp in order to realize how wrong you are, is the fact that if the pension funds rate of return, which they project at 7.5% per year, were to be lowered by one percent, it would cost a TEN percent increase to the required annual contribution as a percent of pension eligible salary. At the least! This is easily proven by anyone with a basic understanding of pension finance, and the pension fund managers know it.When you factor in the value of benefits, public sector workers in California make well over $100,000 per year on average. There is no excuse for this based on higher educational attainment or risks taken on the job. It is destroying our economy and it is destroying the credibility of government.If you care about ALL workers, and not just government workers, you need to rethink whether or not public workers should have any collective bargaining rights.
NeiceSorry we were slow in moderating your cotmnems. I went ahead and put up both since I'm not sure if you wanted to get both in there. Just want to make clear that it is 7 days furlough in 2011 and up to 8 days maximum in 2012. The optional 5 days in 2012 is NOT in addition to this, it is part of the total. Your final calculation seems to suggest 15 days plus 5 and that is NOT the case.On the numbers overall:I calculated 7 days of furlough in 2011 as equal to 2.8% of total pay to allow for the fact that you don't accrue vacation time during furlough. I think that more accurately reflects the real cost.The numbers we put out in the e-mail were designed to reflect the real year-on-year change people would see in 2011 and 2012 in comparison with 2010. It assumes we are starting out from a base of 5 days of furlough in 2010. People will see a small real net increase in pay on 2011 and a larger one in 2012, even allowing for the maximum number of days of extra furlough. Bottom-line, people will have more money in their paychecks in 2011 and 2012. You are right that we are fighting a holding action against medical costs. We are also still fighting headwinds in the industry and in the larger economy. That is what we tried to take into account in looking at the agreement as a whole. The question is: Does the agreement as a whole improve the security of our group as a whole? I would argue that it does.
Judd Part DeuxOne important thing to reemmber is that we've not given up or given back any of the raises in our contract. We've delayed or stretched them out, but we've hung on to them. It's been a lot like scraping the same (rather smallish) amount of butter over a bigger piece of bread, but it's been far better than flatly canceling the raises, let alone accepting wage cuts. Originally, we were supposed to get 4 increases totaling 6 percent over 18 months. What we will end up with is 4 increases totaling 6 percent over 3 years. That is a real slowdown, but we have continued to move and we will continue to move in the right direction on wages.Below are two pay raise scenarios: The first is the one we would have gotten in the original contract. The second is with concessions, including the proposal currently on the table.Original Contract Plan:DEC 2008 +1.5%JUN 2009 +1.5%DEC 2009 +1.5%JUN 2010 +1.5%Following Concession Plans:DEC 2008 +1.5% (Got it)JUN 2010 +1.5% (Got it)JAN 2011 +1.5% (Happening now)JAN 2012 +1.5% (One year from now)As far as restoring wage concessions goes, approving this deal puts 3 out of the 4 in our pocket right now. We will have all 4 by the end of the deal.Furlough days are absolutely not a permanent reduction in work days. Not contractually, not practically. When the deal is up, they die. In addition, they are the easiest thing for the employer to LET die, because they are a pain in the ass to administer. The only reason employers do furloughs instead of layoffs is because they don't want to reduce their overall workforce. Their mid-to-long-term expectation is that they will soon need those lost days and hours back to run their business the way they really want to. Assuming we can get to where staff budgets start to grow again, reducing furlough time will be the easiest way to staff up (far easier than new hires, even at a cheaper wage rate, because there is no extra cost in benefits). But either way, at the end of 2012, furloughs end, so that's that concession restored.That leaves the pension freeze, which is the biggest part of our concessions and remains in place. It is its own monster. The 2% 401(k) match does not equal the value of what we gave in the freeze, and it is going to have to be long-term project for us to get that increased. But in the short term, there is real money that is having to go into the pension to cover existing benefits. Exactly how much that turns out to be is going to have a big influence on what we are able to get further down the road, and we're going to watch it closely.
Professor Slater also debunks the myth of the ovlrey paid public servant, including the belief that public-sector pension plans are always too generous. Who do you think you're kidding? This sort of dishonest BS is the reason every local and state government (in those parts of the country dominated by public sector unions) are going broke. Are you just a hack, or are you financially illiterate? Because it's one or the other. Do the math:A typical non public safety worker in California's state or local governments will get a pension based on the following formula: 2.5%, times years worked, times final annual salary. That equates to a pension of nearly $70,000 per year for the typical participant in CalPERS or CalSTRS who retired in recent years and worked 30 years or more. And it isn't just public safety employees, with average pensions that are now nearly $100,000 per year, who skew the average upwards. The average California teacher now gets a pension that averages about $68,000 per year. Let's keep this in perspective, by the way, the MAXIMUM social security benefit is $31,000 per year. And self-employed people contribute 10.5% of their gross earnings to pay for that benefit, which is a higher percentage contribution than virtually ALL public sector workers have to make to their pensions.The averages you see coming from the unions and from the pension funds are deliberately understated because they include people who didn't work a full career, as well as people who retired 10+ years ago and weren't eligible under the elevated qualifying salaries and elevated pension formulas that were passed during the internet bubble and the real estate bubble.Maybe you can comprehend this: If every Californian over the age of 55 (that's about 10 million people) got a pension of $70,000 per year, it would cost $700 billion per year, which is about 40% of California's entire GDP. Do you really think taxing the rich can pay for this?To throw a slightly more arcane, but absolutely necessary concept at you, one you have to grasp in order to realize how wrong you are, is the fact that if the pension funds rate of return, which they project at 7.5% per year, were to be lowered by one percent, it would cost a TEN percent increase to the required annual contribution as a percent of pension eligible salary. At the least! This is easily proven by anyone with a basic understanding of pension finance, and the pension fund managers know it.When you factor in the value of benefits, public sector workers in California make well over $100,000 per year on average. There is no excuse for this based on higher educational attainment or risks taken on the job. It is destroying our economy and it is destroying the credibility of government.If you care about ALL workers, and not just government workers, you need to rethink whether or not public workers should have any collective bargaining rights.
Why is it that a little while ago some folks were saying it was your patriotic duty to pay taxes and yet they always talk about how it's ok and they want to pay more, then go to court to not pay any. I had no idea that it also meant that I would be giving up 20% of my income and yet those who put us squarely in the mess do not suffer even the slightest bit. How about they STOP all the traveling they are doing, and for what? It might be nice to see those in congress/senate actually have to live like us "little people" Which in my opinion the only reason they even acknowledge we're here is when they make a few more promises, which they have no intention of keeping, so that they can once again be re-elected to lead us down the primrose path of their increased wealth from the sacrifice and hardwork of all us "little people". Wouldn't it be nice if just once, politicians would serve the public instead of their own personal gain.
In response to Republican Rep. As Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth defeated her GOP rival with very little money, so will go the anti Veteran, doesn't support the troops, GOP crowd. Forget the pickets, chants and all old style ways of doing business. We will mobilize and support Canaidates that work for America. Cantor, Issa, Boehner, start packing your bags. There is some Veterans in your districts that have had enough of your anti American worker propaganda.
I am a Viet Nam Veteran, a Federal employee and a tax paying person who for the last three years have gone without a pay raise as everything else has continued to increase in cost. My son who is now an apprentice is trying to start his life as a Federal worker. Some future he has with the leaders in Congress telling him he isn't important enough to keep our Navy strong, just take days off and work even harder to make a living. Thank you all who have forced us into Sequestration, may it happen to you as well, so you can feel the hurt, the lost of trust and not caring of your voting public.
I am station here in Hawaii, I am a DoD federal employee who PCS just like active duty personnel. I don't understand why this Sequestration are affecting these type employees.
As a republican representative we couldn't be more pleased and optimistic with these cuts. We've been pushing for spending cuts, and though trifle in comparison to the overall budget, these will pave the way for real spending reforms once the country sees no negative impact directly on them resulting from of this sequestration. Sorry, but no one cares. Not even the liberal media is voicing your concerns. Your president gave you a cross to carry and we nailed you to it.
Under staffed under paid and now they want more. I guess they can have my house since I can't pay for after I take this pay cut on top of the the money I already lost from getting no raise for three years and a cut back for two years before that,the worst mistake I made was working for the federal government. Time to go back into private industry at least they pay better.
It's amazing how I can go to work every day at the same job and get paid less and less every year . This is a slap in the face of all federal workers. Class Warfare is here and the middle class is getting destroyed and the government that we serve is not doing anything for us.
Our government is trying to balance the budget on the backs of federal employees. This is a game they are playing with people's lives, and it doesn't affect them. If it is the right thing to do, then make sure the Congress and Senate get 20% of their salaries cut and then see how fast they find the real problems. For instance, oil and farm subsidies, foreign aid to countries that hate us, and large government contracts that aren't wanted or needed.
Thank You AFGE for leading the way! Local 2516, District 10 Fort Bliss, Texas
Furloughs and attacks on the Government workers rights are going unabated, its time to rally!
FEDERAL EMPLOYESS ARE BEING FURLOUGH, AND OUR GOVERNMENT STILL HAVE CONTRACTS. PRESENTLY I AM WORKING IN AN AGENCY WITH TWO CONTRACT WORKERS. SO MEANING THEY HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN US FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. NOTING AGAINST THOSE EMPLOYESS BUT GOVERNMENT CAN START BY CUTTING THOSE CONTRACTS TOO!
It's unfathomable to me that our own government would mandate that we give up 20% of our incomes in support of a crisis WE did NOT create! 26 years of dedicated service, and the thanks I get is a pay freeze for three years, and now to be furloughed! I financially support my disabled, mentally challenged, brother-in-law by paying for all his utilities, home insurance, and his property taxes. If my husband and I are furloughed I guess he'll be sitting in a dark house with no heat/air conditioning/ and no cable or water!!! So he gets to pay for our government's mis-management of funds along with all us USELESS federal workers??? Does that seem fair! Not to mention our own household! I bet Congress would be jumping up and down if they were losing 20% of their pay, for what essentially is a the "part-time" job they do! Congress has only been in session 28 days since the beginning of this year! Wow! Full time pay for part time work!
I could not agree more with Frederick Manning's proposal to file a class action suit against the administration for unequal protection under the law. Apparently, they think we are ignorant. This game they play must stop! How dare they insist upon transparency and accountability when they offer none themselves?