WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s proposed fiscal 2023 budget:
“We applaud President Biden for proposing significant increases in discretionary spending for our federal agencies, which have been starved of resources for too long.
“The 4.6% pay raise for federal employees proposed by the White House is a good opening offer, but to bring federal salaries close to market rates and compensate for the recent surge in inflation, we ask Congress to approve the 5.1% increase under the FAIR Act.
“The historic funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs – 32% above the 2021 enacted level – should be used to modernize and expand VA facilities, not to shut down VA hospitals and clinics and force veterans to use costly and inferior privatized care.
“The budget also provides a total of $7.1 billion for pay and benefits for Transportation Security Administration officers, an increase of $1.6 billion from the 2021 enacted level, to finally provide Transportation Security Officers salaries commensurate with what other federal employees doing similar work are paid. TSA officers have been relegated to second-class status in the federal workforce in terms of pay and union rights, and this budget proposal aims to rectify those unconscionable disparities.
“We’re also pleased by the proposed funding increase at the Bureau of Prisons to address critical staffing shortages at federal prisons across the country by hiring front-line correctional officers and additional staff.”