Raise would demonstrate Congress’ commitment to federal workers after longest shutdown in history
WASHINGTON - American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:
“Our country is just starting to recover from a politically motivated government shutdown that left 40 percent of the federal workforce – 800,000 civil servants nationwide – without any income for an unprecedented 35 days.
“Employees are still waiting for their backpay, and many will never fully recover from having to take out high-interest loans, borrow against their retirement accounts, or incur financial penalties for missed payments.
“Even before this shutdown, federal workers had endured years of financial uncertainty and strain due to pay and hiring freezes, pension cuts, unpaid furloughs, and other government shutdowns. Federal employees earn nearly 5 percent less today than they did at the start of the decade, incurring over $200 billion in cuts to their pay and benefits since 2011.
“Months before the shutdown began, President Trump announced he was denying federal workers a pay raise in 2019, even while approving a 2.6 percent raise for members of the military – rejecting a long-held principle of providing equal pay raises to military and civilian workers.
“This pay raise is long overdue, and I call on all members of Congress to support this bill and demonstrate their commitment to the 2.1 million dedicated federal workers who keep our government running every day by providing all workers with a 2.6 percent raise. I especially thank Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia and Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland for introducing the pay raise bills in their respective chambers, and for all the members of Congress who have cosponsored the legislation.”