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Survey queries feds on budget cuts, pay freeze

Federal employees facing furloughs are concerned about making ends meet, going into debt, delaying medical treatment, paying school tuition and a number of other financial hardships, a survey by the nation’s largest federal employee union finds.

Federal employees facing furloughs are concerned about making ends meet, going into debt, delaying medical treatment, paying school tuition and a number of other financial hardships, a survey by the nation’s largest federal employee union finds.

“These are not theoretical consequences,” Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a release, adding, “These are actual, serious problems that real people will face, with lasting impact on their lives.”

The NTEU conducted the online survey to gauge several hardships facing federal employees, specifically drawing from the union’s 150,000-plus members. The survey queried 2,258 respondents on trouble caused by budget cuts to date, the two-year federal pay freeze and the damage that employees expect the across the board cuts could cause.

Eighty-two percent of respondents predict that further pay losses due to the expected sequester-driven furloughs will cause “trouble paying their rent or mortgage, utility bills and food expenses.”

Seventy four percent report that -- due to the pay freeze already in place -- they “have had to cut back on necessities,” while, 66 percent report having “trouble making ends meet,” with 60 percent saying they are “getting further into debt.”

To illustrate, in terms of workplace and mission problems caused by the cuts, 80 percent say that due to existing budget cuts those who leave are not being replaced and 48 percent report that “critical work is not getting done.”

All told, 68 percent of respondents report that their agency lacks the resources to complete their missions properly.

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