Federal Employee Groups Urge House to Allow 2013 Pay Raise of 0.5%
Federal employees have been working under a two-year pay freeze. Last August, President Obama recommended a 0.5 percent 2013 pay raise -- delaying it however until the House and Senate passed a budget.
In October, Obama signed a continuing appropriations resolution to fund the government through the end of March. The measure included an extended pay freeze for federal employees and members of Congress through Mar. 27, 2013.
The Federal-Postal Coalition's letter to the House this week stated: "On behalf of the nearly five million federal and postal workers and annuitants represented by the national member organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition, we respectfully urge you to oppose H.R. 273, which extends the current two-year federal employee pay freeze through the remainder of the calendar year."
The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 273 later this week.
The full text of the Coalition's letter is below:
February 11, 2013
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
On behalf of the nearly five million federal and postal workers and annuitants represented by the national member organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition, we respectfully urge you to oppose H.R. 273, which extends the current two-year federal employee pay freeze through the remainder of the calendar year, and is expected to be voted on this week.
Make no mistake; this vote is about how members of Congress reward hardworking middle-class public servants who take care of our veterans, who guard our borders, who maintain our military's hardware, who take criminals off our streets and keep them behind bars and who provide the intelligence needed to thwart terrorism. After a two-plus year pay freeze, they have earned, at least, the modest 0.5 percent pay increase proposed by the President.
This is not a vote about member of Congress pay, which has already been frozen through the remainder of the fiscal year as part of the fiscal cliff legislation, P.L.112-240. Extending that pay freeze for only three more months, eight months from now, is no excuse to throw federal employees under the bus again.
As you should know, since the beginning of 2011, the budget savings derived from reduced compensation to the federal workforce has totaled at least $103 billion (about $50,000 per employee), as measured over 10-year budget windows. This includes $60 billion worth of budget savings from the first two years of the pay freeze, and $28 billion worth of savings from the reduced 0.5 percent pay raise proposed by the President scheduled to take effect at the end of March. Based on the Employment Cost Index, federal pay scales should increase by 1.7 percent in January, yet federal pay is frozen at least through March 2013. The federal workforce also contributed $15 billion, achieved through a 2.3 percent increase in newly hired federal employees' retirement contributions, in last February's deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment insurance through the remainder of 2012.
H.R. 273 would cancel the very modest 0.5 percent pay raise proposed by the President, forcing federal employees and their families to contribute another $11 billion, for a total of $114 billion since 2011. The attacks need to stop now.
Continuing the pay freeze not only affects financially the hardworking middle-class individuals who make up the federal workforce, it threatens to weaken the quality of our federal civil service. The demands of our government in a constantly modernizing world with increasingly complex threats call for highly-skilled employees who require appropriate compensation. The modest savings that H.R. 273 is trying to squeeze out of the federal workforce today may cost Americans much more tomorrow.
For these reasons, we strongly urge you to vote against H.R. 273. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Federal-Postal Coalition Chairman, Bruce Moyer, at email@example.com. Thank you for your time and consideration of our views.
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