Everything related to federal employes, from pay and pension programs to their jobs, could become primary targets of budget cutters if the Senate-passed deficit reduction program becomes law.
The measure, now before a Senate-House conference, would require the government to cut spending by $36 billion each year over the next five years.
The cost-cutting plan exempts major defense programs, interest on the national debt and the politically untouchable Social Security program. These three represent a major chunk of all federal spending. What is left for possible cuts is the multibillion-dollar federal pay and retirement program.
Federal and postal unions have put out an emergency call for members to write their congressional representatives. Local union leaders are asked to call in any political IOUs they may have in the House to block the deficit-reduction package.
The National Association of Letter Carriers union already has raised more than $800,000 for its political action fund. It had hoped to earmark most of the money for 1986 political races but will now divert some for lobbying efforts to defeat the deficit-reduction plan.
The job facing the letter carriers and other unions will be all the more difficult because of support the plan got from liberal Democratic senators.
Vincent Sombrotto, letter carriers president, said the balanced-budget proposal would give President Reagan "the power to use the deficit as an excuse to eliminate programs he doesn't like, such as cost-of-living adjustments for retirees, federal health benefits" and the like. The administration has long argued that giving federal retirees full raises to catch up with inflation is too costly a benefit, and one not available to most private sector retirees.
"The Democrats in the Senate really knocked us for a loop in supporting the balanced-budget plan," a union lobbyist said yesterday. "The Democrats have made the deficit a major political item, and now the Republicans have thrown it back in their teeth. Our people federal workers and retirees stand to lose the most if this thing passes."
He said that if Congress starts making $36 billion-a-year cuts in the budget, the reductions in force of the 1980s, which cost the jobs of more than 12,000 U.S. workers, "would be peanuts compared to layoffs that would be forced . . . on some agencies. "Meetings
The Association of Government Accountants will have a professional development seminar Nov. 5 and 6 at the Mayflower Hotel. For details, call 684-6931.
The National Association of Retired Federal Employees Silver Spring chapter meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Schweinhaut Senior Citizens Center . . . . Maryland Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs will speak at the luncheon meeting Tuesday of NARFE's Gaithersburg chapter, to be held at Sebastian's Restaurant in Rockville. Call 253-6956.
Georgetown University's John F. Dealy will speak Friday at the luncheon of the Institute of Internal Auditors, to be held at the National Press Club.
The Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference will have its next luncheon meeting Oct. 25 at the Rayburn Building. D.C. Superior Court Judge Gladys Kessler is the speaker. Call 633-5022. Job Mart
Farmers Home Administration is looking for contract specialists, Grades 9 through 11. Must have civil service status. Call Linda Hawkins at 382-8485.
Federal Election Commission wants a GS 5 docket clerk, and a part-time clerk (typing) at $6.16 per hour. Call 523-4114.
Army has an opening in Bethesda for a GS 6 secretary. Call Patti Magrann at 692-3321.