AFGE is urging Congress to reject an attempt by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) to extend a freeze on federal worker salaries that has been in effect for the past two years. AFGE National President J. David Cox said that the proposal is a "cheap political ploy" that would inflict serious damage to the already modestly paid working families whose members hold federal government jobs. Cox also pointed out the freeze would harm the communities where these workers live since they will spend another year unable to afford much outside of bare necessities.
From an AFGE press release:
Extending the federal pay freeze defies logic or understanding. Does Rep. Fitzpatrick believe that taking money out of the modest paychecks of workers who process the claims of disabled veterans will help either his community or the veterans who rely on those benefits? Does he know that over half of the employees who process veterans benefits claims are veterans themselves? Was there any rational thought behind this terrible proposal?
Rep. Fitzpatrick needs to become better educated about the issues he tries to affect through legislation, Cox said. His misunderstanding of the reality of where federal salaries stand as compared to those paid in the private sector is appalling. Federal salaries are lower than those paid to private sector and state and local employees who perform the same type of jobs, and if Rep. Fitzpatrick would take the time to look beyond a few hyped-up headlines, he would know better.
Cox and AFGE are calling on members of Congress to vote against Fitzpatrick's proposal.