WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today praised the introduction of legislation by Rep. Donna Edwards that would repeal the massive cuts to the retirement benefits for new federal employees. The legislation would reverse the large retirement contribution increases imposed on federal employees hired after 2013 as part of budget agreements in 2013 and 2014.
"Since 2011, the federal workforce has been forced to suffer more than $138 billion in compensation cuts, in some cases to reduce the federal deficit and in others to pay for other programs such as unemployment insurance," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. "Congress has placed an immense burden on our public servants, with no regard to the harsh economic pain these modestly-paid, middle class Americans have suffered. Rep. Edwards has been a staunch supporter of federal workers and understands that they should not be used as an ATM for those whose real goal is to dismantle the programs and agencies that employ this workforce."
AFGE sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives this week urging support for this critical legislation. It includes several stark examples of the differences in retirement contributions for federal workers hired within a few years of one another. For instance, a chemical engineer hired at an Army installation this year with a starting salary of approximately $36,000 per year will pay $1,300 more annually for his or her pension than someone in the exact same job and location hired in 2012 or before. Examples like this demonstrate the hardships families face as they try to keep up with rising health care costs and stagnant wages.
"We need more leaders in Congress, like Rep. Edwards, who are willing to say that these cuts are not just unnecessary, but morally wrong," said Cox. "America should not be about making sure that the next generation is poorer than the one that preceded it, but that is what the retirement system cuts for new hires has done. The federal government should not join the race to the bottom by cutting retirement benefits for the next generation. Congress should pass the Edwards legislation and restore the promise of economic security for the next generation."
Click here to read the letter supporting Rep. Edwards' legislation.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees