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Federal Employees Have Given Enough to Deficit Reduction Efforts, Says Federal-Postal Coalition
Representatives of federal and postal employee, retiree and management groups Wednesday strongly urged Congress and the administration not to turn to the federal workforce for further pay and benefit contributions in their efforts to address the pending fiscal cliff.
In a joint telephone news conference with U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), representatives of the 31-member Federal-Postal Coalition emphasized that federal employees already have contributed $103 billion over the next 10 years to deficit reduction efforts in three separate actions.
In introducing the congressional leader, Maureen Gilman, legislative and political director of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU, http://www.nteu.org), said, "As ranking member of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Van Hollen is a key player in fiscal cliff discussions. He has demonstrated time and again that he is a very strong supporter of the federal workforce and we are pleased that he is willing to speak out for federal workers today."
"The hardworking men and women who make up the federal workforce have made a substantial sacrifice over the past two years to help bring down the deficit. They have proven willing to do their part but cannot bear this burden alone," said Rep. Van Hollen. "I will keep fighting to ensure federal employees are not asked to contribute more than their fair share as we work to put our fiscal house in order."
In addition to Van Hollen and Gilman, federal workers and retirees were represented by Bruce Moyer, chair of the Federal-Postal Coalition; Jessica Klement, legislative representative of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) and chair of America Counts On Us; and Beth Moten, legislative and political director for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
The speakers pointed out the current two-year federal pay freeze will result in a contribution of $60 billion over the 10-year budget horizon; the 0.5 percent pay raise under consideration for calendar year 2013--currently delayed until next April--will result in another $28 billion from federal workers; and a higher pension contribution from new federal hires after Jan. 1, 2013, will mean another $15 billion in budget savings.
The Coalition is not the only group calling for sacrifices from others before federal workers are asked to do even more. Last month, Washington-area House members sent a bipartisan letter to the leaders of both parties in the House and the president emphasizing the $103 billion in federal worker contributions.
"Federal and postal employees and their families share our commitment to serving the American people in the most efficient, cost-effective manner, and just like other taxpayers, they, too, are struggling during these tough times," they wrote. "Our dedicated civil servants understand the principle of shared sacrifice and justifiably expect others will actually share in it."
The House members added: "We respectfully request that you carefully consider the implications that any proposed agreement would have on these Americans so that it reflects the substantial budget savings that the federal workforce has contributed thus far."
Member organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition include:
American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Foreign Service Association
American Postal Workers Union
FAA Managers Association
Federal Managers Association
Federally Employed Women
International Association of Fire Fighters
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers
Laborers' International Union of North America
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
National Association of Federal Veterinarians
National Association of Government Employees
National Association of Letter Carriers
National Association of Postal Supervisors
National Association of Postmasters of the United States
National Council of Social Security Management Associations
National Federation of Federal Employees
National League of Postmasters
National Postal Mail Handlers Union
National Rural Letter Carriers' Association
National Treasury Employees Union
National Weather Service Employees Organization
Organization of Professional Employees at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Patent Office Professional Association
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists
Professional Managers Association
Senior Executives Association