National President Dougan Pens Open Letter to Payroll Tax Cut Conferees Urging No Cuts to Federal Compensation

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Contact: Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 255-9950


Washington, D.C. – The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), a national union representing 110,000 federal workers in 40 separate departments and agencies government-wide, released a letter to payroll tax cut conferees today urging the removal of provisions slashing federal retirement benefits and extending the two-year pay freeze.


Written by NFFE National President William R. Dougan, the letter details the struggles facing federal workers and their families, and the devastating impact these cuts would have on their livelihoods:


“The bottom line is that if these provisions were to become law, federal workers would have less money to survive the recession today, and weaker retirement security to sustain themselves tomorrow,” said Dougan. “It would level a tremendous blow against employee morale and severely undermine the government’s ability to recruit and retain top talent into national service. At a time when our nation faces threats both foreign and domestic, military and monetary, we cannot afford a second rate federal workforce defending our borders, supporting our troops overseas, and ensuring the safety of our food supply. We cannot afford to undermine pay and retirement benefits for middle class workers with increasingly precarious economic situations.”


The letter details the proposed changes to federal pay and retirement as well, and how they will undermine the income security of millions of federal workers:


“Extending the current two-year federal pay freeze for another year is the first of many harmful provisions that single out federal workers for harsh cuts,” reads the letter. “Federal employees have already had their pay slashed by $60 billion under the current two-year pay freeze, a serious sacrifice for middle class families struggling to get by just like everyone else.” Continuing:


“The bill calls for federal workers to nearly triple the amount they pay toward their pensions by 2015. It substantially reduces benefits for new hires by increasing employee contribution rates, while simultaneously reducing the payout formula by which their annuities are calculated. Under the new annuity formula, the 1 percent annuity multiplier would be reduced to 0.7 percent, and the salary component will move from a “high 3” years of service figure to a watered-down “high 5.”


Concluding the letter, Dougan called on conferees to honor federal workers commitment to public service:


“Federal workers do their best every day to keep our nation’s promises to its citizens,” said Dougan. “We ask that Congress grant us the same courtesy. I respectfully urge you and your colleagues to strike these provisions during conference on the payroll tax cut extension, and stand up for middle class working families during these trying times.”


Click here for full letter:

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