NAGE Asks Congress to Take 20 Percent Pay Cut

By on March 8, 2013 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 97 Comments

The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE/SEIU) has called upon Congress to donate 20 percent of their net pay for the next 22 weeks to the federal government to help reduce the national deficit.

The union is making the plea go Congress in response to furlough notices that are starting to go out to the federal workforce. Over the next few weeks, federal agencies will issue furlough notices to their employees, and beginning April 26, impacted employees will have to take one unpaid furlough day per week for the rest of the fiscal year.

NAGE estimates that 22 furlough days between April 26 and September 30 will result in a 20 percent pay cut for these employees.

“Congress should help shoulder the burden of deficit reduction and be forced to feel the same pain in their household budgets as these federal workers,” said NAGE national president David J. Holway. “For months, Washington has failed to put aside partisan differences to find a balanced solution to deficit reduction. It is time we hold Congress’ feet to the fire and force them to act.”

A copy of the letter NAGE sent to Congress is included below.

As president of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE), SEIU Local 5000, which represents federal employees in 43 different states across the country, I am writing to ask you to donate 20 percent of your net pay to the federal government to help reduce the national deficit. Federal employees have already donated $103 billion toward deficit reduction though the pay freeze and increased retirement contributions. No other group has been asked to financially contribute the way federal employees have. It is time for shared sacrifice and our nation’s leaders must lead by example.

Over the next few weeks, federal agencies will issue furlough notices to their employees. At many agencies, including the Department of Defense, beginning April 26 impacted employees will have to take one unpaid furlough day per week for the rest of the fiscal year. Twenty-two furlough days between April 26 and September 30 will result in a 20 percent pay cut for these employees.

The furloughs and pay cut are a result of Congress’ inability to do its job, yet, the senators and representatives responsible for sequestration will continue to be paid their full salary at the taxpayers’ expense. If the civilian federal workforce is expected to take additional cuts in their pay, lawmakers in Washington should have to do the same.

For federal employees, taking away one day’s pay every week could be the difference between paying the mortgage and putting food on the table. Top brass at the Pentagon, as well as some members of Congress, have testified to the shattering impact a 20 percent pay cut will have on the country’s civilian federal workforce and have offered to give up their pay in an act of solidarity.

Congress should help shoulder the burden of deficit reduction and be forced to feel the same pain in their household budgets as these federal workers. Congress should give up their salary for each day federal employees are laid off without pay as a result of sequestration.

For months, Washington has failed to put aside partisan differences to work together to find a balanced solution to deficit reduction. It is time we hold Congress’ feet to the fire and force them to act.

Sincerely,

David J. Holway
National President

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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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