WASHINGTON – With a little more than a week before the expiration of the current continuing resolution that will result in a partial government shutdown, the American Federation of Government Employees has sent a letter to members of the U.S. House and Senate urging them to keep the government open and to pass a pay adjustment of at least 1.9 percent for federal workers in 2019.
The letter, signed by National President J David Cox Sr. on behalf of more than 700,000 federal and District of Columbia employees represented by AFGE touched on the dangers posed by a shutdown and the need for a proper pay adjustment for the 2.1 million federal workers who keep the country running.
“Government shutdowns, partial or otherwise, have a negative impact not only on federal employees who are either forced to work without a paycheck for the duration of the funding lapse, or else locked out of their jobs altogether,” said Cox in the letter. “These shutdowns also undermine and disrupt the operations of affected agencies and programs, and thereby hurt all citizens who rely upon the services, support and protection these federal operations routinely provide. As such, I urge you to resist efforts by those who would use a government shutdown as leverage to pass divisive, unpopular legislation. Shutting down the government should not be the way we resolve disputes over controversial policies,” he said.
“Federal employees are working and middle-class Americans who live mostly from paycheck to paycheck,” added Cox. “They took a beating in the years following the financial crisis of 2008 and are still a long way from regaining the purchasing power of their pre-crisis paychecks. They have had pay freezes, retirement cuts, and unpaid furloughs. They have continued throughout to work hard to provide services to veterans, warfighters, Social Security recipients and victims of natural disasters, all because they are enormously devoted to the missions of their agencies.”
Cox also addressed pay parity between civilian and military pay for next year, saying, “There has also been no deference to the long tradition of military-civilian pay raise parity, as next year military personnel will receive a 2.6 percent adjustment while the much smaller 1.9 percent for civilians remains in limbo.”