President Obama’s 2016 budget falls short of his State of the Union pledge to raise living standards for middle-class Americans by failing to honor the nation’s commitment to our dedicated public sector employees, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said today.
The president’s proposed 1.3 percent pay raise is only slightly better than the paltry 1 percent raise federal employees received this year and last, following an unprecedented three years of frozen pay.
“Let’s be real – a 1.3 percent pay raise will be eaten up by higher costs for groceries, health care and other essentials. Like other middle-class workers, federal employees need a meaningful pay raise to make up for years of stagnant wages, and unfortunately the president’s proposal falls short,” Cox said.
AFGE strongly supports legislation introduced in the House and Senate to provide federal employees with a 3.8 percent pay raise next year.
President Obama’s proposal to cut the Pentagon’s civilian workforce by 3,500 positions will only increase the department’s overreliance on more costly service contractors, if the work performed by these civilians is not also eliminated.
The Government Accountability Office recently reported that the Office of the Secretary of Defense “estimated that there were about 3,287 contractor full-time equivalents throughout the organization, which represents about 55 percent of OSD’s total workforce in fiscal year 2013.”
“No proposal to cut the cost of the department’s headquarters operations can be taken seriously if it disregards the one segment of the workforce that costs the most,” Cox said.
AFGE strongly supports the president’s goal of ending the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, which would have a devastating impact on programs and services that benefit millions of Americans.
Cox also voiced support for tax proposals in the budget, particularly taxing profits that corporations keep overseas to avoid paying taxes in the U.S., which would have no negative impact on domestic job creation.
AFGE also support the president’s proposal to invest in roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.