Washington, D.C – The 2018 budget resolution passed by the House today threatens the economic security of thousands of federal employees around the country and is yet another unfair attempt to make the nation’s middle class civil servants suffer the brunt of deep spending and tax cuts, said National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Tony Reardon.
“On paper, it may look like a way to save money but in the real world, cutting the paychecks and retirements of federal employees, just to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, is a mean-spirited way to build a national budget,” Reardon said.
The budget resolution would order $32 billion in subsequent cuts to fall squarely on current and future federal employees and retirees, guaranteeing they have less money to pay their bills every month and smaller bank accounts in their senior years.
The specific proposals would still need to be crafted and moved in separate legislation to become law. The budget’s recommendations to lawmakers include raising the amount that federal employees pay into their retirement program, which could cut their take-home pay by 6 or 7 percent; eliminating the supplemental benefit for employees who retire early, which would severely impact those federal law enforcement officers who must retire at age 57; and overhauling the current Federal Employees Retirement System altogether, leaving only the Thrift Savings Plan.
“Since when is it acceptable to attack the very people who are providing hurricane relief, protecting clean air and water, conducting cutting-edge scientific research, enforcing the tax laws, securing the border, maintaining the national parks and guarding our financial system?” Reardon said. “Federal employees are not some wasteful government program – they are your neighbors, providing vital services to taxpayers, in every city and state in America.”
In a letter sent to every House member before Thursday’s vote, Reardon said federal employees have already lost roughly $200 billion in the name of deficit reduction in recent years with multi-year pay freezes and reduced raises and two increases in the amount they pay toward their retirement.
“Federal employees are non-partisan public servants who are committed to carrying out the missions of their agencies,” Reardon said. “They deserve a fair wage, a secure retirement and the respect of Congress and the American people. As Congress moves forward with specific spending plans, we call on lawmakers to reject the civil service cuts contained in this budget resolution.”
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 31 federal agencies and departments.