WASHINGTON – The president of the nation’s largest federal employees union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO, today called for a freeze on all increases in health care insurance premiums for federal employees. The Office of Personnel Management today announced the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premiums will increase an average of 3.4 percent in January. But AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said that is too much for federal employees and retirees whose wages have been frozen for two years.
“FEHBP premiums increased by an average of 7% in 2011 and 3.8% 2012 while federal pay did not increase at all, due to the freeze. Congress and the administration have decided to turn the federal workforce into a “fixed income” population that simply cannot afford another cent toward already inflated FEHBP premiums,” Cox said.
“Now federal employees are facing the prospect of an extension of the pay freeze through April 2013. How can they be expected to afford another increase in FEHBP rates while their salaries don’t increase – it’s the same as a pay cut,” he added.
“This action is no way to ensure an effective workforce that provides valuable public services. It’s not a way to treat the men and women who support our troops, care for our wounded soldiers, protect our borders and ensure that Americans have safe food and drinking water,” Cox said.