New Budget Proposal Offers Deepest Cuts Yet to Federal Workforce, BenefitsTuesday, July 19, 2011
(National Federation of Federal Employees)
Monday, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma released a far-reaching budget proposal that seeks to cut $9 trillion dollars from federal programs over the next decade. To fund these massive reductions, the Senator proposed the deepest cuts yet to federal agencies and their workers.
The proposal would reduce the number of federal employees by a full fifteen percent, reducing the number of workers by 300,000 in ten years. It would do so by hiring just two workers for every three who leave, an approach many Congressional Republicans have embraced this past year.
In addition to draconian reductions in the number of workers, the measure would also extend the widely unpopular pay freeze by another year. Coburn further recommends freezing merit bonuses through 2013 and locality pay through 2017. With regard to benefits, the proposal would limit federal workers' ability to carry over sick leave from one year to the next.
In this sweeping measure, even retirees would not escape the Senator’s budget axe. His plan would alter the formula used to calculate retirees’ annual cost-of-living adjustment, lowering the vital adjustments needed to live on a fixed income.
“I’m not surprised by this latest proposal,” said NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin. “Each budget plan being offered is more outlandish than the last, and as usual, federal workers are in the crosshairs. I’m sick and tired of lawmakers protecting their special interests and pet projects then turning around and asking federal workers to pay for it. Now they’re going after federal retirees too. This Coburn budget is unacceptable, and every federal worker – current or retired – should be outraged by it.”