House lawmakers voted Wednesday night to freeze the pay and salaries of congressional staffers and civilian federal employees. If passed in the Senate, the proposal would extend the current two-year cost-of-living raises for an additional year starting next January.
Each week we ask federal workers to share their response to a question of the week. This week: What do you make of the congressional Republicans’ proposal to freeze federal salaries? How would it affect you?
Below, federal workers weigh in:
“I have worked for the federal government for 30 years. To say that federal employees make more than the private sector is not true, as I took a big cut in pay to come to work for the government. We have already had a two-year federal pay freeze. You continually take away from federal employees as cost of living keeps going up. It is a big financial burden for me as my wife has been laid off from a job she held for 25 years because the company sent the work overseas and she has been unable to find a comparable job.” — Mark Thompson, Tinker Air Force Materiel Command
“The bottom line is that at least we have a job with medical/dental/vision benefits. We just got to watch our spending like we have been doing even before the first pay freeze.” — Caroline Kwan, EPA
“Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the Federal workers. Start looking at some of the federal programs that need slimming down before taking the easy way out and continue to deny Government employees any increase.” — Wayne Bernacki, HUD
“As a high-performing employee within the the Dept. of Defense with post-master’s level education in the relatively new higher education field of IT, I am seeing only reasons to leave federal service and very few reasons to keep serving. As the CBO has validated, employees in my scenario are earning 23 percent less than our private-sector counterparts. I do understand the public’s frustration that federal employees with no more than a high school education earned more than their private sector peers (that statistic even frustrates me); however, by freezing pay across the board, we are giving those employees with very little education, reasons to stay in service, and those with high education levels reasons to leave.” — Christopher Riley, DOD
“I feel like I have been punched for doing a good job for the nation. That is how it affects me. Over the last three years my agency has provided stellar service to the citizens of the United States. This is due in large part to our agency finally having a budget commensurate with the work that needs to be done. Should my peers and I be provided with shoddy service from the Congress? Should we not be recognized for our accomplishments? In my view relative to performance; we as federal employees should not suffer.” — Darl Daniels, Social Security Administration
“As a family grows so does the cost to raise that family. There will be no extra money to help with this. The cost of education is rising yearly, but no extra money will be put into college accounts. Our high schools require extra money to participate in sports programs. As the family grows so does the cost to feed and clothe them. The price of gas is on the rise; with children too young to drive we put hundreds of miles per year on our vehicles just so our children can participate in after-school activities. I just don’t understand why our government is so reactive instead of proactive. They couldn’t see this coming years ago?” — Robert Chaney (Government Printing Office)
Do you have something to add? Share your story: How would a federal pay freeze affect you?