Federal Employee Groups Ask House to Allow Pay Raise

By on February 12, 2013 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 26 Comments

The Federal-Postal Coalition recently sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives asking them to allow the 0.5% pay increase to go into effect this spring.

The letter is not the first to be sent on the House’s proposed legislation. NTEU and NARFE sent letters last month voicing opposition to the bill.

Federal employees have been under a pay freeze since 2010, but the president recently issued an executive order that would give federal workers a 0.5% pay increase beginning this spring. However, Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently introduced legislation that would continue the pay freeze for federal employees through the remainder of the year by blocking the 0.5% pay increase.

To date, nothing more has happened to prevent the pay increase, but the federal employee groups represented in the letter want to make sure it does get implemented.

The full text of the letter is included below.


February 11, 2013

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the nearly five million federal and postal workers and annuitants represented by the national member organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition, we respectfully urge you to oppose H.R. 273, which extends the current two-year federal employee pay freeze through the remainder of the calendar year, and is expected to be voted on this week.

Make no mistake; this vote is about how members of Congress reward hardworking middle-class public servants who take care of our veterans, who guard our borders, who maintain our military’s hardware, who take criminals off our streets and keep them behind bars and who provide the intelligence needed to thwart terrorism. After a two-plus year pay freeze, they have earned, at least, the modest 0.5 percent pay increase proposed by the President.

This is not a vote about member of Congress pay, which has already been frozen through the remainder of the fiscal year as part of the fiscal cliff legislation, P.L.112-240. Extending that pay freeze for only three more months, eight months from now, is no excuse to throw federal employees under the bus again.

As you should know, since the beginning of 2011, the budget savings derived from reduced compensation to the federal workforce has totaled at least $103 billion (about $50,000 per employee), as measured over 10-year budget windows. This includes $60 billion worth of budget savings from the first two years of the pay freeze, and $28 billion worth of savings from the reduced 0.5 percent pay raise proposed by the President scheduled to take effect at the end of March. Based on the Employment Cost Index, federal pay scales should increase by 1.7 percent in January, yet federal pay is frozen at least through March 2013. The federal workforce also contributed $15 billion, achieved through a 2.3 percent increase in newly hired federal employees’ retirement contributions, in last February’s deal to extend the payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment insurance through the remainder of 2012.

H.R. 273 would cancel the very modest 0.5 percent pay raise proposed by the President, forcing federal employees and their families to contribute another $11 billion, for a total of $114 billion since 2011. The attacks need to stop now.

Continuing the pay freeze not only affects financially the hardworking middle-class individuals who make up the federal workforce, it threatens to weaken the quality of our federal civil service. The demands of our government in a constantly modernizing world with increasingly complex threats call for highly-skilled employees who require appropriate compensation. The modest savings that H.R. 273 is trying to squeeze out of the federal workforce today may cost Americans much more tomorrow.

For these reasons, we strongly urge you to vote against H.R. 273. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Federal-Postal Coalition Chairman, Bruce Moyer, at bruce@moyergroup.net. Thank you for your time and consideration of our views.


American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees American Foreign Service Association
American Postal Workers Union
FAA Managers Association
Federal Managers Association
Federally Employed Women
International Association of Fire Fighters
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers Laborers’ International Union of North America
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
National Association of Federal Veterinarians
National Association of Government Employees
National Association of Letter Carriers
National Association of Postal Supervisors
National Association of Postmasters of the United States
National Council of Social Security Management Associations
National Federation of Federal Employees
National League of Postmasters
National Postal Mail Handlers Union
National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association
National Treasury Employees Union
National Weather Service Employees Organization
Organization of Professional Employees at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Patent Office Professional Association
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists
Professional Managers Association
Senior Executives Association

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.


About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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  1. jpiccirilli says:

    Let’s face it. We need money to stay here in the good ole USA. Our big shots in congress need to grow a set, push pass a law making all the companies who left us to manufacture their goods in another country  for pennies and then sent it here to sell it to us should have to pay an entry tax making it equal to the price the company that stays here pays. If the runners don’t want to pay the entry price…..go sell your product in some third world counter. See how far you get. Am I making sense?

  2. Marbles says:

    Let’s face it. We need money to stay here in the good ole USA. Our big shots in congress need to grow a set, push pass a law making all the companies who left us to manufacture their goods in another country  for pennies and then sent it here to sell it to us should have to pay an entry tax making it equal to the price the company that stays here pays. If the runners don’t want to pay the entry price…..go sell your product in some third world counter. See how far you get. Am I making sense?

  3. LadyGuest says:

    I don’t think that it’s the House that we Feds need to worry about regarding this issue, it’s the Senate!

  4. Soonershooter says:

    just how many unions does USPS need?  I count seven specific to USPS in this listing, plus others that might also have USPS employees …..is this really the message that the USPS wants to send to the American tax payer?

    • JG4 says:

      There are 4 unions in the USPS – APWU (Clerks), NALC (City Letter Carriers), NRLCA (Rural Letter Carriers), and NMHU (Mail Handlers)- the others that you perceive to be unions are not unions but management associations that have consultation rights but not bargaining rights… 

    • grannybunny says:

      USPS doesn’t create or select the unions; its employees do.  In a workforce of over half-a-million employees – performing varying jobs – having four recognized bargaining unit agents does not seem excessive or to be sending any type of negative message. 

  5. Soonershooter says:

    I belong to none of those unions, I dont see the need to keep crying about a pay raise for this year or even next year….

  6. $15300432 says:

    Let them have the pay raise as log as the furloughs stay. They can’t have both and the furloughs are better for the taxpayers

  7. Comrade1917 says:

    The USA is bankrupt.  However, we do have a technology called a money printing press. You will be paid in increasingly inflated dollars.  It reminds me of the collapse of the USSR.

    • JG4 says:

      The USA is bankrupt.
      No it isn’t….

      • Comrade1917 says:

        Stop drinking the Kool-Aid, JG4th.

        The U.S. gubmint has owes trillions of dollars that will never be repaid (if one counts inflated paper dollars that are worth less and less over time).

        The U.S. gubmint defaults on its debts by using money printing (debased money) to pay debts.

        The USA is no different than Weimar Germany or Zimbabwe.

        The U.S. dollar has lost 97% of its value since 1913 (the year the Federal Reserve was created).

        Inflation is the cruelest tax.

        • dk7245 says:

          How could we be broke…we are giving benefits to gay couples in the Feds and Military and that’s dollars we don’t have.  Oh, wait a minute Obama promised them that for their vote.  How sick is that!

        • grannybunny says:

          It’s sad that you have lost faith in the Full Faith and Credit of the United States of America.  Fortunately, the vast majority of people haven’t.  Hopefully, the disfunctionality of our House of Representatives won’t further erode it.

          • Comrade1917 says:

            J.M. Keynes on inflation in The Economic Consequences of the Peace (p. 235-6):

            “The best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of
            inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some.”

            “The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their
            deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.”

            “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

          • grannybunny says:

            At present, inflation is the least of our worries.

          • Comrade1917 says:

            Your logic is flawed, granny.

            If there is no inflation:  we do not need to raise pay.

          • grannybunny says:

            No one said there is no inflation, just that it is not so out of control as to “debauch” our currency.  The cost of living continues to rise, and that is the justification for the modest proposed pay raises.

          • Comrade1917 says:

            The paper dollar has been and will continue to be debauched.

            Compare the value of a paper dollar made in 1922 with a silver dollar made in 1922.

            The silver dollar (real money) has a melt value of $23 today.

            The paper dollar might buy a cup of coffee.

          • grannybunny says:

            Regardless of its melt value, the silver dollar — as currency — would buy the same cup of coffee as the paper one.  If we were limited to currency made of precious metals, the supply of money would be so small, our economy couldn’t function.

          • Comrade1917 says:

            “In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect
            savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby
            secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending
            is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the
            way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property
            rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the
            statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.” – Alan Greenspan

            You’re right, you can’t print more gold or silver.

            There is no counterparty risk with gold and silver unlike the paper IOU dollar.

            You should keep your paper “money.”

            I’ll keep the real money – gold and silver.


  8. HappilyRetiredFed says:

    I retired from SSA 12/31/11. Thre were a lot of concerns about a furlough. Many employees considered essential would be forced to work for no pay check. The primary concern was issuing SSA checks. I have no idea what things will look like on March 1, 2013 but it doesn’t look pretty. I agree that this should be the main issue. I can deal with no COLA but I would have really had to struggle with no paycheck.

  9. NoDonkey says:

    “We would like ice water”.  – People in Hell. 

  10. Myralr says:

    Forget the raise and drop the furloughs

    • shockdj says:

       No kidding, the furlough will result in a ~8.5% pay cut this year. A 0.5% is hardly cause for celebration in comparison.