Federal Employees News Digest

WH budget plan: Fed unions slam cuts

The White House issued its FY 2019 federal budget proposal—dubbed “An American Budget” — this week, outlining the spending and cutting priorities of the current administration.

The proposal was quickly roundly criticized by some of the major federal employee unions—for everything from suggested cuts to certain agencies to numerous unwelcome changes to pay and benefits.

The president’s budget proposal, in many respects, has been sidelined by the many current, last-minute budget machinations underway among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, aiming to lay out spending for the next year, at least, and avoid another shutdown.

Yet, with so many fed-unfriendly changes laid out in black and white, many leaders have been moved to speak out.

“This document grossly distorts the current state of the federal workforce,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employee Union, representing feds at various agencies, said in a statement. “They are not overpaid and underworked; they are middle-class Americans dedicated to public service and supporting their families.”

“I look forward to offering a fact-based rebuttal to these proposals, after which Congress and the American people will stand and defend our civil servants by giving them the tools and resources they need to do their jobs,” Reardon added.

Another major union representing feds—the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE)—also lambasted the White House proposal.

“IFPTE urges Congress to deem the budget ‘dead on arrival’, as many of the items of importance to IFPTE members are draconian in nature, and not worthy of consideration by hill lawmakers,” union president Gregory Junemann said in a statement. “When it comes to federal workers, there is an A to Z dismantling to the pay and benefits of our civilian workers, including a pay freeze in 2019, and a move toward so-called pay for performance, a pay system that has not only failed time and time again in the federal government, but has also been proven to be discriminatory. This budget also seeks to unjustly erode collective bargaining protections in the federal sector. “

“IFPTE reminds our locals and our members that this budget is simply a proposal, and one that we will largely work against with our friends on Capitol Hill,” he added.

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Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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