American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
Federal employees were forced to pay for 50% of the cost of the Unemployment Insurance extension. The following will help explain how harsh those changes will be for new, middle-grade employees, like the ones we represent:
For a GS-3 nursing assistant earning $27,322 while working in a VA hospital psychiatric ward, this will be a $628 annual tax increase.
For a GS-5 USDA meat and poultry inspector earning $31,825 while protecting Americans from E. Coli and other deadly diseases caused by contaminated meat, this will be a $732 annual tax increase.
For a GS-7 federal penitentiary correctional officer earning $38,790 while guarding ruthless gang leaders in dangerously understaffed institutions, this will be an $893 annual tax increase.
Far too many Members of Congress believe that all federal employees earn at least $100,000 annually, but sixty percent of the federal workforce is paid the equivalent of a GS-9 or below (starting salary $47,448). So far federal employees have given up $60 billion (over 10 years) in the unprecedented two-year pay freeze, and the UI bill’s 2.3% increase in retirement contributions for post-2012 hires saves another $15 billion. That’s a total of $75 billion.
Whether the 2013 pay adjustment is the President’s proposed 0.5% raise (unlikely with this House) or another freeze, the additional savings to the government is $28-30 billion. Total sacrifice by federal employees before additional hostile legislation expected from the House Republicans: $103-105 billion over ten years. (This does not include the massive downsizing in federal employment that we expect will result from the discretionary spending caps from the Budget Control Act.)
The upcoming House transportation/federal retirement cuts legislation (H.R. 7 and H.R. 3813) will carve out an additional $30 billion from federal employee pensions, this time with the hit on current employees.
Yet, millionaires/billionaires, corporations, agriculture subsidies, federal contractors, and hundreds of other legitimate targets, haven’t given up a nickel. It’s not “shared sacrifice” if no one else is sharing in the pain.
Barbara Jackson and Tom Webb will be participating in a Council 215 On Friday at 12:30 p.m.
We will provide you with an update after the call.
At approximate 7 PM last night AFGE and SSA signed a conceptual agreement regarding the AFGE-SSA contract. Language codifying some of the agreements reached must still be drafted and agreed to.
The agreement specifies that 4 articles: Appraisals, Merit Promotion, Work at Home and Work at Home by Exception will be negotiated separately no later than June.
More details will be provided later regarding specific provisions of the agreement.
Many thanks go to all of the AFGE/SSA negotiators who worked for more than 3 years on these negotiations. special thanks also to John Gage, President of AFGE who helped at the conclusion of the negotiations to make this agreement possible.