WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest federal employee union, is urging lawmakers to oppose additional cuts to federal employee salaries and benefits during talks over how to reduce the nation’s deficit.
AFGE has sent letters to every lawmaker in the House and Senate, reminding them that federal workers have endured cuts to their wages and pensions totaling $103 billion over 10 years. Federal employees have not received a pay raise since January 2010, while federal employees hired after the end of this year will pay four times more for their pensions than current workers.
“To date, federal employees and their families are the lone group of Americans who have made sacrifices to deficit reduction,” AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten wrote in the letters. “We have suffered cuts worth more than $100 billion over ten years, all of which were made to reduce deficits. Enough is enough. It’s time for others to step up.”
Specifically, Moten said Congress should enact pending legislation that would lower the cap on taxpayer-subsidized salaries for federal government contractors. The current cap has tripled since 1995 and now totals $763,029 – nearly twice as much as the president of the United States earns each year. Lowering the cap to the Vice President’s salary – currently $230,700 – would save at least $5 billion a year, according to senior Defense leaders.
“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. I strongly urge you to turn your attention to those who have not yet sacrificed. The best place to start is with federal contractor compensation,” Moten said.
In addition to the letters, AFGE has set up telephone hotlines so federal employees can call their representatives and senators directly and urge them to oppose any cuts to pay and benefits for working class Americans. The House hotline number is 1-888-907-5171; the Senate number is 1-888-907-8362.