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On the Brink of Another Government Shutdown? IFPTE Weighs-In in Support of Federal Workers

December 20, 2017

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

Dear Leader Schumer:

On behalf of the 90,000 members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), including tens of thousands of federal employees, we are writing regarding the year end Continuing Resolution (CR) and how it could impact our nation's federal workforce. As you work to negotiate an acceptable CR with the Republican majority, IFPTE would like to bring the items below to your attention:

1. Pay parity between military personnel and federal employees: As you know, the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized a 2.4% pay increase for military personnel, which IFPTE fully supports. Unfortunately, the Administration has proposed only 1.9% for civilian workers, including the DoD employees that work day in and day out to support our fighting men and women. 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. Pay parity was achieved in 2017, as federal employees and the military each received a 2.1 percent increase. IFPTE feels it is both fiscally responsible and reflective of the income sacrifice given by federal employees over the last eight years to once again have pay parity.

2. Protect federal workers from being used as offsets as a part of the CR: While there are many worthy funding priorities that may be addressed as a part of the CR, and that IFPTE certainly supports, 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. Federal workers are even seeing their per diems cut, as the Department of Defense (DoD) unilaterally implemented a policy calling for significant cuts for employee travel that is slated to be more than thirty days. Despite these huge sacrifices, several legislative proposals before Congress continue to target federal employees. We urge you to resist and reject any proposals to use current and future federal workers as a piggy bank to pay for other priorities.

Thank you for your consideration. Should you or your staff have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly, or IFPTE legislative director, Matt Biggs, at (202) 239-4880.


Gregory J. Junemann

Paul Shearon

Cc: Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, Warner & Kaine


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