Senators Lieberman and Collins' deficit reduction plan hits federal employees hard, leaves contractors largely unscathed
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees today expressed its profound disappointment regarding the deficit reduction recommendations proposed by the leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, propose about $60 billion in cuts to federal employees' wages and benefits. This would be on top of $60 billion in cuts already contributed by federal employees through a two-year pay freeze.
Meanwhile, the two senators have proposed a paltry $11 billion reduction to the $320 billion spent each year on government service contractors. And they've left in place a policy that lets government contractors charge taxpayers nearly $700,000 for each contractor employee.
"I am shocked at what these elected officials have done to federal employees, while doing little to curb the massive taxpayer funded bailouts to government contractors," AFGE National President John Gage said. "Federal employees have sacrificed more than any other group, giving up two years of pay increases to help lower the country's deficit. It's time to pass the hat and ask others to pay their fair share."
Lieberman and Collins submitted their proposal today to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Their proposal would extend the two-year pay freeze on federal employees for another year, force federal employees to contribute another 1.2 percent of their salaries toward retirement, reduce the salary used to determine an employee's monthly retirement payments, bar employees from counting any unused sick leave toward retirement calculations and reduce workers' compensation benefits for employees injured on the job.
"Forcing additional pay and benefits cuts on middle class federal employees, while continuing to use taxpayer dollars to pad the million dollar salaries of federal contractors, is outrageous. It's exactly this kind of unconscionable behavior that is fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement," Gage said.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees