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11.30.18

As December 7 Funding Deadline Looms, IFPTE Calls on Congress to Pass Outstanding FY19 Spending Bills

November 30, 2018

Hon. Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. Charles Schumer, Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. Paul Ryan, Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senate and House Leaders:

On behalf of the 90,000 represented members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), we are writing regarding Congress’ work on reconciling the remaining Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) spending measure and how they could impact IFPTE represented members. As you work to negotiate an acceptable minibus, IFPTE would like to bring the items below to your attention:

1. Approve at least a 1.9% pay raise for federal workers, as is called for in the Senate FY19 Financial Services appropriations bill: As you know, the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized a much-deserved 2.6% pay increase for military personnel, which IFPTE fully supports. However, the Administration has decided to ignore the tradition of pay parity between federal workers and the military by proposing a pay freeze for civilian workers, including the DoD employees that work day in and day out to support our fighting men and women. Contrarily, the 2019 Federal Employee Pay Comparitability Act (FEPCA) calls for a 2.1% pay increase for federal workers, while the Senate Financial Services and General Government appropriations measure included a bipartisan supported 1.9% pay increase for civilian employees. After three consecutive years of pay freezes, followed by meager across the board adjustments, federal workers have seen their incomes decrease by nearly 15% with respect to inflation over the last eight years. Therefore, IFPTE feels it is both fiscally responsible and reflective of the income sacrifice given by federal employees over the last eight years to, at the very least, approve the 1.9% pay increase called for by the Senate;

2. Protect federal workers from being used as an offset: While there are many worthy funding priorities to be addressed in this spending measure, we urge you to ensure that federal employees are not sacrificed once again as a ‘pay-for’ to offset spending elsewhere. Since 2011 federal workers have sacrificed nearly $200 billion toward deficit reduction, mostly through years of pay freezes and pension cuts, as well as to help pay the bill to avoid sequestration through FY15. Government employees have also experienced furlough days and job insecurity due to the 2013 government shutdown, threats of other shutdowns, and sequestration. Despite these huge sacrifices, several legislative proposals before Congress, and coming from the Administration, continue to target federal employees. We urge you to resist any proposals to use current and future federal workers as a piggy bank to pay for other priorities;

3. Approve disaster relief funding for communities impacted by the California wildfires – Due to no fault of their own, millions of California residents are suffering the consequences of years of extreme drought, immense heat and over 120 million dead trees. After the scores of deaths and incomprehensible destruction caused by the wildfires, the impacted communities are in dire need of federal assistance. IFPTE recommends that Congress approve at least $720 million in disaster relief funding for those impacted by the wildfires, as called for by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Minority Senator Patrick Leahy (D-CT).

Lastly, and given the threat of another government shutdown absent a spending agreement by December 7th, IFPTE urges you to work in a bipartisan way toward approving a fiscally responsible spending package that is fair to both taxpayers and the millions of employees who provide those taxpayer services. These are hard-working, middle income public servants that do not deserve to be locked out of work due to the failure of our lawmakers to fund our government. Such a failure would also be fiscally negligent, as the 2013 government shutdown cost taxpayers over $24 billion.

Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact either of us, or IFPTE legislative representative, Faraz Khan, at (202) 239-4880.

Sincerely,

Paul Shearon,
President

Matthew Biggs,
Secretary-Treasurer/Legislative Director

____________________________________________________

RELATED:
11/30/2019 - Advocate for Pay-Freeze and Federal Job Cutting to Become Top Republican on Oversight Panel (GovExec)

11/19/2019 - Connolly Plans Defense of Federal Employees as Incoming Subcommittee Chair (Washington Post, IFPTE in the News)

IFPTE Letter to Congressional Leadership on the FY19 Minibus

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