WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is urging House members to reject three bills targeting federal employees that are expected to be voted on this week.
In a letter to representatives dated today, AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten outlined AFGE’s opposition to the following bills: the Common Sense in Compensation Act (HR 1541), the Government Employee Accountability Act (HR 2579) and the Citizen Empowerment Act (HR 2711).
“Despite their titles, none of these bills reflects common sense, and none improves accountability or improves ‘customer service’ for those interacting with government agencies,” Moten wrote. A copy of the letter is available here: http://afgeunionblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/afge-urges-opposition-to-hr-1541-hr-2579-hr-2711pdf.pdf.
HR 1541 would impose a 5% annual cap on any increase in financial compensation that a federal employee could receive while sequestration is in effect. This cap would effectively eliminate financial incentives for superior performance and restrict agencies from rewarding or otherwise incentivizing excellent performance.
HR 2579 would allow an agency to withhold the salary of any federal employee who is under investigation for wrongdoing, even before the investigation has run its course and the facts have been determined.
HR 2711 would allow the recording of any interaction with a federal employee, either telephonic or in person, and require federal employees to inform the public of this right. “This bill appears designed to introduce the notion that federal employees lack integrity and are not to be trusted,” Moten wrote.
Moten stressed that the federal workforce is already suffering the effects of unprecedented financial pressures over the past three years stemming from frozen salaries, furloughs that have reduced take-home pay by up to 20%, and large increases in retirement contributions for new employees, Moten said.
“These three bills inflict further harm by reducing the opportunity to make up this lost financial ground by means of extraordinary performance and eliminating rights and protections,” she wrote.