WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees today applauded the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Democratic members for proposing that the deficit reduction supercommittee avoid any further cuts to federal employees’ compensation, benefits or workforce size.
Federal employees already sacrificed by having their pay frozen this year and next, which will save the government $60 billion during the next decade. In addition, as a result of $1 trillion in cuts to agency budgets, federal agencies have already cut back significantly on hiring employees and many are planning furloughs and reductions-in-force.
“Further cuts to federal employee compensation, benefits or workforce size will negatively impact recruitment and retention and substantially degrade agency performance,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote in their report to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Rather than impose additional cuts to the federal workforce, the supercommittee should reform the compensation of government contractors, the Democratic members said. The lawmakers endorsed a proposal from AFGE to cap the compensation government contractors can charge taxpayers at $200,000 annually per employee, which is the salary Cabinet secretaries earn. Currently, government contractors can charge taxpayers $693,951 a year for each of their five highest paid executives, while there is no cap for other contractor employees. Lowering this cap to $200,000 and applying it to all contractor employees would save the government $50 billion over 10 years.
“Taxpayers should not be on the hook for these outrageous salaries that no one in government earns,” AFGE National President John Gage said.
The lawmakers also said the government should consolidate the purchasing power of the eight million enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to obtain lower prescription drug prices, saving $1.6 billion over 10 years. They also asked the supercommittee to reject a proposal by the president to establish a Commission on Federal Public Service Reform, calling such a commission redundant of past and current efforts to reform federal personnel policies.