The IAM and the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) joined 17 other unions representing 300,000 federal workers in a joint letter to members of the House-Senate negotiating committee tasked with hammering out a budget deal urging lawmakers to craft a long-term solution that ends sequestration without inflicting additional financial burden on federal workers who have already suffered enough economic turmoil.
“Federal employees have shouldered an excessive weight in budget cuts, and they have long proved their tenacity and dedication,” reads the letter from the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA). “Federal employees have contributed more than $114 billion over the past three years toward deficit reduction. This staggering amount is the result of a three-year pay freeze, multiple furlough days due to sequestration, and an increase in pension contributions from new federal workers. As a result of the ongoing three-year federal pay freeze, a worker earning $40,000 annually, will lose $54,840.19 in cumulative income over the next 20 years. For many families, that loss of income is the difference between being able to make a mortgage payment or put food on the table.”
Workers represented by the unions of the FWA provide essential services to the American people, including ensuring food safety, curing disease, caring for veterans, maintaining U.S. military readiness, protecting U.S. borders and bringing criminals to justice.
The House-Senate negotiating committee, formed as part of the deal to end the October 2013 government shutdown, must craft a budget deal by mid-December in order to avoid a second round of sequestration in January and another debt-limit crisis in February.
A recent report released by the White House details the costs of the 16-day government shutdown. Among the biggest items were $2 billion in back pay to federal workers, 6.6 million combined lost work days, and an estimated 120,000 private sector jobs lost. There were also large economic costs to the thousands of employees of private federal contractors who did not qualify for back pay.
The FWA urges the budget committee to stand strong against any and all proposals taking aim at the federal workforce.
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