President Obama to Freeze Federal Employee Pay in 2011, 2012
Freeze Not to Impact Step Increases, Bonuses
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama announced a two year pay freeze for federal employees. The President’s announcement comes days before the eighteen member national Deficit Commission votes to approve or disapprove other recommended cuts aimed at middle class workers, including a three year federal pay freeze. The Commission vote, which will be finalized on December 1st, requires the approval of 14 of the 18 commission members in order to gain fast track authority in the Senate.
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) President, Gregory Junemann, provided the following comment in response to today’s announcement:
“Just last month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that civil servants are paid 24% less than their private sector counterparts, so today’s announcement is obviously a disappointment. However, IFPTE members fully realize the dire economic straights that our nation is currently facing, and the high unemployment numbers facing private sector workers. So, with this comes an expectation that federal workers are not being asked to sacrifice in order to subsidize the very policies that got our nation in this economic mess to begin with.
“For example, one of the few recommendations from the Deficit Commission that IFPTE agrees with is the call to increase taxes on investment income. The time has also come to allow the immoral tax cut that President Bush doled out to the wealthiest two percent of American wage earners to expire. That alone will prevent another $1 trillion from being added to our national debt over the next ten years. While we understand that sacrifice is necessary to bring our deficit under control, we expect that these sacrifices should not just impact our dedicated federal workforce.
“Lastly, I want to stress that our union stands in solidarity with unemployed workers. While we are talking about fiscal realities today, it is important that we also stress the sobering reality that without immediate action by Congress and the White House to extend Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits by Wednesday, two million unemployed workers are slated to immediately lose their only economic lifeline.
“Federal workers are doing their part, so we urge the President and the Congress to do their part by allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, tax investment earnings, and immediately pass the much needed UI extension before the close of this week.”
IFPTE is a labor union representing workers in the Federal, Public and Private Sectors, including over 25,000 federal workers.