House Democrats' State Their Policy on the Federal Workforce

By on March 24, 2015 in Pay & Benefits with 20 Comments

House Democrats have released their version of a FY 2016 budget in response to the House GOP budget proposal that was recently released.

The Democrats’ budget touts features such as higher taxes on the wealthy, removing the sequester, blocking cuts to Social Security, and matching the president’s 2016 budget request.

What is important to federal employees, however, is the policy statement regarding the federal workforce included in the budget legislation:

SEC. 507. POLICY OF THE HOUSE ON THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE.

(a) FINDINGS. The House finds the following:

  1. The Federal workforce provides vital services to our nation on a daily basis. It includes those who patrol and secure our borders, take care of our veterans, help run our airports, counter cyber-attacks, find cures to deadly diseases, and keep our food supply safe.
  2. Last year alone, Federal employees addressed a wide range of national priorities, from responding to the Ebola outbreak to helping reduce veterans’ homelessness to helping millions obtain affordable health care.
  3. Veterans make up 30 percent of the Federal workforce.
  4. Many Federal workers are paid at a rate that is far below their private sector counterparts.
  5. The Federal workforce is older than in past decades and older than the private sector workforce. It is estimated that twenty-five percent of the Federal workforce intends to retire over the next five years.
  6. Over the last five years, the Federal work-force has contributed more than $150 billion toward reducing the country’s deficits in the form of pay freezes, pay raises insufficient to keep pace with inflation, and increased retirement contributions.
  7. The Federal workforce endured furloughs from sequestration and the 16-day Government shutdown.
  8. Since 1975, the security and non-security parts of the Federal workforce have declined 33 and 38 percent, respectively, relative to the population.
  9. Nearly all of the increase in the Federal civilian workforce from 2001 and 2014 is due to increases at security-related agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Justice.
  10. Proposals to reduce the size of the workforce at non-security agencies by 10 percent have excluded an assessment of their impact on Government services.

(b) POLICY. It is the policy of the House that Fed employees should not be targeted to achieve further reductions in the deficit as they have already contributed more than their fair share, that Federal workers should be compensated with pay and benefits at a level that enables the Government to attract high quality people — which is especially important during this period when more workers will be retiring — and that no proposal to reduce the size of the workforce should be considered without an assessment of its impact on Government services.

© 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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