NFFE to Congress: Don't Sell Out New Federal Hires on Retirement BenefitsThursday, February 16, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 216-4458
Washington, D.C. – In response to a reported agreement to increase employee pension contribution for new federal hires to 3.1% of their pay as a ‘pay-for’ for the payroll tax cut extension, National Federation of Federal Employees National President William R. Dougan issued the following statement:
“NFFE is adamantly opposed to placing any additional costs on federal employees, who have already sacrificed billions to address our nation’s budget deficit. Under the current two-year pay freeze, federal employees and their families are making the hard choices they need to to help their country heal from the great recession. They have endured the freeze and done their jobs without complaint, because they believed that their sacrifice could make a difference. Today, we are not so sure that those on Capitol Hill understand the magnitude of that sacrifice. Now Congress is coming after the next generation of federal employees by asking them to pay a permanent price to solve a temporary problem. Neither current nor future federal workers got our nation into this mess, yet Congress is trying to heap the responsibility of cleaning it up squarely on their backs. Why aren’t the wealthiest among us being asked to pay a little more? Why aren’t banks being asked to repay the public for the damage they caused to all of us just a few short years ago? Congress would do this country a great disservice if it sells out the next generation of intelligence analysts, firefighters, and veteran’s nurses simply to protect millionaires and billionaires from taking a small hit.
Treating new federal hires different from current federal workers with respect to their retirement is a disturbing precedent. We are all public servants. We all make sacrifices to serve our country. Congress must not forget that.
Federal agencies are only able to recruit the talent they need because, though they don’t pay as much, federal government jobs are still considered good jobs. If we go down this path of taking away key benefits from future federal employees, that will no longer be true. The days of federal agencies hoping to attract the best and brightest will be over. Taking a giant symbolic step in the race to the bottom by undermining middle class federal employees’ retirement security is unfair to workers and it’s bad policy.”