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AFGE National President John Gage

American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage today issued the following statement in response to the announcement that Congress will pay for extending unemployment insurance for out-of-work Americans by requiring new federal workers to pay more for their retirement:

“I am outraged that lawmakers are willing to pay for this extension in unemployment insurance by forcing new federal workers to pay substantially more for their retirement. Going after the pay and benefits of working-class men and women does nothing to create new jobs in this country.

“No group has sacrificed like federal employees. Congress froze their pay for two years, which cost federal employees $60 billion in lost wages. Meanwhile, the millionaires and billionaires who have continued to profit during this economic recession haven’t been asked to pay one nickel more in taxes. We continue to pay massive subsidies to oil companies and bail out the banks that started this recession with their shady lending practices that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes. Explain to me how that makes any sense.

“As I understand it, this backroom deal will require all newly hired federal employees to pay three times more for their pensions than currently required. This action will drastically reduce take-home pay for these employees and make it harder for federal agencies to attract the best and brightest.

“And make no mistake, current federal employees are still on the chopping block. House leaders want to squeeze more out of federal employees to pay for the massive transportation bill. Their proposal would increase federal employee retirement contributions four-fold and lower the average salary that’s used to calculate pensions. These changes would result in a massive 40% cut to a federal employee’s retirement check.

“Cutting take-home pay for working class men and women is exactly the wrong thing to do to put Americans back to work.”

One Response

  1. Politicians continue to make stupid decisions. Over the last several years we have been hiring some incredible young talent, from the best schools, with the highest CUMs. I interviewed many myself. It has been unprecidented, but much needed for the aging work force. Then the politicians decide to freeze their pay for a year, and then another year. Then came the discussions on extending it to five years, and then weakening the retirement program, and on and on. The bright talent hired has been leaving in droves. A young coworker just told me that of the 20 people hired with him, 16 have bailed because of what has been going on. The brightest of the bright are no longer trying to come into the Government. They could NOT have screwed this up more than they have. What a complete travesty! The Government workers make LESS than their private industry counterparts, but just say the opposite is true, and the public will buy it. Meanwhile, the older folks that the Politicians want to get off the payrolls are forced to stay longer, because their “high three” pay has already been established. They must stay on, until their pay reaches what they thought it was going to be. Instead of addressing entitlements, they have completely weakened the quality of the Government workforce. Any you wonder why these geniuses have our country is such horrible shape. No worries, they have all become multi-millionaires, and attacking Government workers polls well. BRILLIANT!

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