Pushing back against the Republican’s austerity budgets, Democrats introduce a 5.3% increase for federal workers.
Federal employees deserve catch-up contribution to counter years of lost wages
WASHINGTON — For a number of years now politicians in Washington have been forcing their austerity budgets on the hard working men and women that make up the federal workforce. Federal workers have already given back $182 billion dollars in forced concessions through pay freezes, pay cuts, and increases to their retirement plans.
Nationally the economy keeps moving forward and the cost of living continues to rise yet federal workers are stuck in reverse.
“It’s time to raise wages for all working families in this country, and the federal government should serve as the model for all other employers to follow. This is why AFGE strongly supports the ‘Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act’ introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia. This legislation will provide federal workers with a 5.3% pay raise next year,” said American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr.
The bill introduced in the House in mid-January already has 81 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
“AFGE has led the call for a 5.3% pay raise and I’m incredibly grateful for the strong support our proposal has received. Federal employees have gone far too long without a decent wage increase, resulting in a 6.5% drop in their standard of living since the start of the decade,” added Cox.
Nationally the cost of living has risen over 21% in the last ten years but most federal workers have only seen a couple of precent increase in their wages. Federal workers have faced same economic struggles as every other American during the last 10 years.
“Federal employees are just like other workers – they are struggling to keep up with house and car payments, student loan debt, and rising costs for prescriptions and groceries and other essentials,” said Cox. “We are not asking for any special treatment, just a catch-up contribution to start making up for the $182 billion that federal employees personally sacrificed to help get our nation through the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
During the last six years Congress, mostly Republicans, have been using federal workers as their own personal piggy banks. They take money that should have gone to the workers and repurposed it for their own benefit. They force pay cuts on the workers and give more tax breaks and subsidies to corporations who are making record profits or to billionaires who are not paying their fair share of taxes as it is.
“As a result of six years of low to no pay raises, the purchasing power of federal paychecks has declined substantially. The women and men who keep this country running deserve a standard of living that keeps up with inflation and rising wages, which is why this catch-up contribution is long overdue. Congress must pass this legislation,” said Cox.