Federal Employees Criticize Pay-Freeze Proposal

Monday, 17 Oct 2011 09:33 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Federal employees are criticizing a deficit-reduction proposal that would extend the current government pay freeze through 2013, which they said would result in $60 billion in further wage and benefit cuts.
“Federal employees have sacrificed more than any other group, giving up two years of pay increases to help lower the country’s deficit,” said John Gage, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “It’s time to pass the hat and ask others to pay their fair share.”
Gage was reacting to a recommendation from the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee calling for an extension of the current two-year pay freeze through 2013.

In a letter Friday to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the proposal would reap an estimated $32 billion in “significant savings.”

The proposal did not specifically estimate the cost of the freeze on retirement and other benefits for federal workers. 

The committee also proposed a 15 percent cut in “management support services contracts” and a cap on what can be paid to contractor executives. But the employees union said those recommendations would only result in “a paltry $11 billion reduction to the $320 billion spent each year on government service contractors.”

“Forcing additional pay and benefits cuts on middle class federal employees, while continuing to use taxpayer dollars to pad the million dollar salaries of federal contractors, is outrageous.” Gage said. “It’s exactly this kind of unconscionable behavior that is fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.”

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