WASHINGTON – The 1 percent pay raise that President Obama will propose for federal employees and members of the military in fiscal 2015 is inadequate to compensate for years of sacrifice and hardship by government workers, the head of the largest federal employee union said today.
“Federal employees have endured years of pay freezes and cuts in retirement benefits,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Federal employees deserve a meaningful pay raise, not a token increase that will be more than eaten up by rising living costs, including higher retirement and healthcare costs.”
Federal employees already have had their pay frozen for three consecutive years, and new workers are being forced to pay substantially more toward their retirement. Without counting the losses due to sequestration furloughs, these cuts amount to $120 billion in lower wages and benefits for federal employees during the next decade.
Wages for federal employees have gone up just 3 percent since 2010, while prices have risen 9 percent – not counting additional out-of-pocket expenses for sequestration-related furloughs, retirement contributions and healthcare premiums. In salary alone, federal employees are more than 6 percent worse off under President Obama.
“President Obama has said that his upcoming budget will reflect an ‘end to austerity.’ We wholeheartedly support that. But a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees who have seen more austerity than anyone else is pitiful. It’s time for the country to invest in all its workers, including the dedicated federal employees who protect and serve the American people,” Cox said.