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President Obama Takes The Wimpy Way Out With Another Pay Freeze On Government Workers

White House Photo by Pete Souza

J. David Cox the President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) blasted President Obama  about the decision to extend the two-year pay freeze on all Government employees until Congress passes a new budget.

If Congress does not pass a new budget Federal workers would get a .5% raise in March of 2013.  This is just another kick in the pants to all federal workers.  So far the Federal workers have already given up “60 billion dollars” from the two-year pay freeze.

This means that Federal employees will not get a cost of living adjustment this year.  Without a cost of living adjustment workers will see their take home reduced because the cost of medical insurance and other out of pocket expenses continues to go up.  There are now talks on the Hill of increasing employee contributions to the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERs) to reduce the costs of the Federal Government. Some people are already seeing this.  As Pres. Cox explained all newly hired employees will be forced to “pay a higher percentage to their retirement with no gain in annuity”.

Listen here [audio http://icestream.dev-cms.com:8000/dc/fnr/inside_govt/INSIDE_GOVT_08-24-2012.mp3]

President Cox was not the only person to denounce this action.   William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said in a statement.
“We are surprised and deeply disappointed by the administration’s decision not to push for the modest federal pay adjustment that was called for in the president’s budget”.

I think this is a bad move for the President especially in an election year.  Workers pay has been frozen for the past two years and now you are asking them to vote for you and your answer to that is, ‘wait another six months and you might get a raise’.  This is gutless.  The President has been going around the country telling people we need to invest in American and spend money rebuilding our infrastructure.  He has also been saying that we should hire all the teachers, police, and firefighters back who were laid off by state budget cuts.

Well Mr President, put your money where your mouth is.  You want to show people you are serious about investing in America, then start with the workers in your own “company”.  Show the business world that you are a leader and that you value your employees and your employees deserve a raise.  How do you expect others to believe you if you do not practice what you preach.

Since the President cannot take his ‘pay freeze’ back he must use his power to push Congress to pass a budget for 2013 now and give the workers the pay raise they deserve in January, when they should be getting it.  Two years without a raise is hard enough, do not make it four.

 

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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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