Active and retired federal military people had better brace themselves for some very bad news-dealing with their paychecks and pension checks.
The House now is debating and voting on various recommendations of its powerful Budget Committee. All deal with spending limits for the 1980 fiscal year (which begins in October) budget. Obviously it is a big package.
Two of the major items of interest to civil servants, military people, retirees and their families are the October pay raise and the frequency of future cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. In metropolitan Washington more than a half-million people will be touched directly by one or both of the decisions the House will make today or Friday.
Proposition one from the Budget Committee would limit-as President Carter proposes-the October 1979 federal and military pay raise to 5.5 percent, although federal workers, by White House estimate, are due more than 10 percent to catch up with industry.
Proposition two has even longer range repercussions. It would eliminate one of the two cost-of-living raises federal and military retirees now get in March and September to help them keep pace with inflation. Instead, the Budget Committee proposal would give federal-military retirees a single COL raise each July 1, beginning next year.
Friends of federal workers-mostly area members of Congress-will propose higher raises, and try to save the twice-a-year living cost adjustments. They will have an uphill fight.
Meantime, rival federal unions are planning to bury the hatchet long enough to get together for a June 14 protest against the Carter Administration for the unfair shake they believe it is giving government workers.
Last week, the executive council of the biggest federal union-the American Federation of Government Employes-voted to poll its members to see if they would consider a strike, slowdown or other type of "job action." AFGE President Kenneth T. Blaylock says that union members might want to consider giving themselves a pay raise by cancelling their payroll deductions for U.S. savings bonds.