Federal Employees News Digest

Modest pay raise proposal draws barbs

Download the PDF version of this FEND issue

Federal labor groups last week lambasted the administration after news broke that the president's fiscal 2015 budget proposal will include a 1 percent pay hike for federal employees.

The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, one of the labor organizations criticizing the size of the proposed increase, like other unions, bolstered its case by reciting a litany of hardships federal employees have endured over the past several years.

“After three straight years of pay freezes that just ended with the start of 2014, multiple furlough days due to sequestration, a federal government shutdown, and attack after attack on federal employee pensions, IFPTE is disappointed that the Obama administration is once again proposing a meager 1 percent pay raise for our nation’s federal workers," IFPTE President Gregory Junemann said in a statement.

"That recommendation does not even keep up with inflation, which stands at 1.6 percent over the last year," he stated. "With half of our nation’s civil servants now considering retirement in the coming years it is both irresponsible and foolhardy to think that the federal government will be able to retain and attract the talent it needs to continue to properly serve the taxpayers."

Other labor leaders, such as National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley, have proposed a much larger raise. Kelley has suggested a 3.3 percent increase as "fair and reasonable." And American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. has urged replacing what he called a "pitiful" 1 percent hike with one of 4 percent.

Federal Managers Association National President Patricia Niehaus registered a more moderate response.

"Federal managers recognize that our country still finds itself mired in economic turmoil; however, we further recognize the continued dedication of the men and women of the federal workforce who serve their fellow Americans daily, at home and abroad," Niehaus said in a statement. "While 1 percent is better than nothing, I call upon the nation's elected officials to return to the formulaic process employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine annual salary adjustment recommendations, and recognize the federal workforce as it strives to create a more efficient and effective federal government."

Another union leader, National Federation of Federal Employees National President William R. Dougan, was less conciliatory, calling the proposed increase" woefully insufficient."

"Morale is in the toilet," Dougan said in a statement. "We believe a majority of federal workers are looking to leave the federal government or retire."

Dougan said his union now will focus its pay-raise efforts on Congress, which he said has often rejected a president's proposed increase and replaced it with a larger one. NFFE "will be aiming to make that happen again this year," Dougan said.

See the NFFE statement at: http://www.nffe.org/ht/display/ReleaseDetails/i/102119; and the IFPTE statement at: www.ifpte.org/news/details/IFPTE-Responds-to-proposed-federal-pay-raise .

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above.

2021 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question