Don’t spend it all at once folks.
After three years of pay freezes, five years of locality pay freezes, a week of unpaid sequestration furloughs, cuts to retirement, and countless attempts to erode workers’ voice at work, federal employees were offered a 1.6% pay raise in 2017. So, thanks, I guess?
It’s not mystery that elected officials have long been the driving force behind sinking workforce morale and financial disarray. The constant shortchanging and outright robbery of employees’ pocketbooks has taken an enormous toll on communities around the country where they live and work.
So who are these people Congress and the administration have been targeting?
Federal employees are FEMA officials who rescue victims of natural disasters, VA doctors and nurses who take care of our veterans, NIH scientists who find cures to deadly diseases, BOP correctional officers who watch over some of America’s most dangerous inmates, USDA food inspectors who make sure our food is safe, TSA officers who keep bombs off our planes, National Park Service employees who protect our parks and rivers, Defense mechanics who maintain fleets of airplanes and ships. The list goes on.
After all Congress has put them through the past few years, the employees deserve at least a 5.3 percent pay raise in 2017. This would partially make up for the years of lost wages after six years of low-to-no increases. Federal employees are job and profit creators. They shop. They eat out. They vacation. They pay taxes. They are neighbors, community members, friends.
AFGE is calling on Congress to do the right thing and show these men and women the proper appreciation by giving them the 5.3 percent raise they so deserve.
This won’t do much to close the 35 percent pay gap between the public and private sectors, but it’s a step in the right direction.