Federal Union Calls on White House, Congress to Address “Public Service Recession” in Jobs DebateThursday, September 8, 2011
Contact: Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 216-4458
Washington, D.C. – The National Federation of Federal Employees, a national union representing 110,000 federal employees in 40 separate departments and agencies government-wide, is calling on the White House and Congress to address the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs in the forthcoming jobs debate.
With the President slated to address the nation on jobs this evening and Congress poised to consider their own proposals soon after, the beginning of a hard-fought and protracted debate will ensue on how to put America back to work. Much of the discussion to date has focused on promoting private sector job creation – a goal of both political parties. What has been missing from the conversation, however, is how important the revitalization of the public sector workforce would be to the economic recovery.
“By focusing exclusively on private sector job growth, we’re only looking at half of the picture,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “We want to hear solutions to the public service recession that has wiped out more than two million government jobs over the past three years.”
Since the early days of the recession in September of 2008, over 2.2 million public employees have lost their jobs. Deep budget cuts have forced towns, cities, states, and federal agencies to take drastic personnel measures, resulting in millions of job losses and fewer services to the American people. With an additional $2.5 trillion in cuts included in the debt ceiling agreement, thousands more public servants will inevitably lose their jobs and services will be hollowed out even further.
“With millions of Americans out of work we shouldn’t be cutting public service jobs; we should be fighting to save every last one,” said Dougan. “These are our teachers, firefighters, nurses, and border patrol agents; these are our food safety inspectors, medical researchers, intelligence analysts, and defense civilians. Some say that we cannot afford to keep these dedicated public servants on the job. On the contrary, we can’t afford not to. Pushing thousands more public employees into the unemployment lines will only worsen the pressure on our already-strained social safety net and jeopardize the recovery.”
“Right now there is ample opportunity to save literally tens of thousands of middleclass government jobs and get the American people back to work,” said Dougan. “The unemployed aren’t concerned with which sector produces the jobs; they care about providing for their families. It would be criminal to let middle-class public sector jobs continue to disappear when we have the power to save them.”
“What the American people expect from the President and Congress are not ideologically driven, partisan proposals that favor one sector of the workforce over the other,” said Dougan. “We want jobs to be created by any means possible so that American people can support their families. The President and Congress must realize that government jobs are not the cause of our current economic woes; they are an essential part of the solution.”