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Federal-Postal Coalition Joins in Opposition to Roberts Amendment Extending the Pay Freeze

Monday, March 12 2012

Washington, D.C.—The multi-organization Federal-Postal Coalition today called on the Senate to reject an amendment likely to be considered tomorrow that would extend the freeze on federal pay for a third year, through the end of 2013.

The coalition letter comes on the heels of a separate letter to senators from President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) sharply criticizing the proposal by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). The proposed amendment is to the Senate’s pending transportation measure.

The coalition, whose member organizations represent some 4.6 million federal and postal workers and retirees, identified the billions that federal workers already are contributing to deficit reduction, and said the Roberts amendment would cut another $26 billion from this one group of middle class workers, making the total $101 billion.

“This disproportionate hit on the federal workforce is unfair and unnecessary,” the coalition wrote.

Its letter also took aim at the proposed uses for such savings. “The pay freeze extension in the Roberts amendment,” the letter said, would “be used to offset changes to energy policy and a long list of tax breaks that have nothing to do with federal employees.” It added: “It is unacceptable to continually single out the federal workforce to fund programs or tax expenditures that should be broadly borne.”

President Kelley’s letter emphasized some of the same points, and in particular the $60 billion contribution from federal workers through the present two-year pay freeze and the $15 billion hit in increased pension contributions. She called on the Senate to defeat the Roberts amendment.

NTEU, which is a member of the Federal-Postal Coalition, is the nation’s largest independent union of federal workers, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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