Federal Employees Worry About, Jobs, Benefit Cuts

Friday, 16 Sep 2011 10:14 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A coalition representing nearly 5 million active and former government employees is calling on President Barack Obama to reject proposals that ask federal employees and retirees to shoulder more costs associated with reducing the national debt.
 
Saying that federal workers have already “sacrificed enough” through salary freezes and layoffs, the Federal-Postal Coalition wrote in a letter to Obama Thursday that additional wage and benefit cuts would in effect create “a second-class civil service.”
 
“During these tough economic time, when citizens are demanding more from the federal government, American cannot afford a second-class civil service,” the coalition said.
 
The coalition, a group of national organizations that represent some 4.6 million active and retired government employees, noted that federal workers have already had their salaries frozen this year, saving an estimated $60 billion over the next 10 years.
 
In addition, they said hiring freezes and agency cutbacks in a variety of areas have put a strain on the remaining workforce, which is “increasingly being asked to do more with less.”
 
“The men and women who make up the federal workforce are performing increasingly vital — and often dangerous — tasks but with fewer resources and insufficient staffing,” the coalition wrote. “These reductions have a direct impact on the citizens served by federal employees as evidenced by the backlog of cases at the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and numerous other federal agencies.”
 
The letter was signed by more than two dozen organizations, including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees, the Federal Managers Association, and the American Postal Workers Union.
 
Obama plans to provide the details of how his $447 billion jobs bill will be paid for when he submits his own deficit-reduction plan on Sept. 19 to the supercommittee — the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

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