WASHINGTON American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement in response to a bill introduced in the House that would freeze federal employee salaries for the third consecutive year:
On behalf of the 670,000 federal and D.C. government workers represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, I strongly urge lawmakers to oppose a bill introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis that would extend the current two-and-a-half year pay freeze for federal employees through the end of 2013.
Federal salaries have not been adjusted since January 2010, and new employees will pay nearly four times more than their coworkers for retirement benefits. These measures will cost employees and save taxpayers more than $103 billion over the next decade.
Federal pay should not be politicized in this way. The salary freeze along with the threat of furloughs, layoffs and another complete government shutdown are a punishment in search of a crime. Federal employees had no part in the financial crisis and the ensuing recession, and they should not be forced into penury to reduce a deficit they had no part in creating.
The loyal, patriotic, working class and middle class Americans who make up the civilian federal workforce have done their part to address the budget deficit. Now is the time for the pay freeze to end.
President Obama has proposed a modest 0.5 percent pay raise that is scheduled to take effect in April, and Congress should not stand in the way of this raise taking effect. It would unfairly punish hard-working Americans who help ensure the safety, security and prosperity of our great country each and every day.