Sequestration Furloughs Won’t Begin Before April

Sequestration Furloughs Won’t Begin Before April

 U.S. Controller Danny Werfel; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano; and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter prepare to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday.
U.S. Controller Danny Werfel; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano; and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter prepare to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Federal agencies will not furlough employees until April, should automatic budget cuts set to go into effect March 1 take place, an Obama administration official said Thursday.

Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel told the Senate Appropriations Committee that union negotiations would start on March 1, if sequestration hasn’t been averted, and federal employees would not receive furlough notices until mid-March. Continue reading “Sequestration Furloughs Won’t Begin Before April”

House to Vote on Fed Pay Freeze

House to Vote on Fed Pay Freeze

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

This story has been updated. 

The House Thursday afternoon paved the way for a full vote Friday on a bill that would extend the federal pay freeze through 2013.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., along with 28 cosponsors, wants to prolong the current pay freeze for civilian government employees through the end of the year. President Obama issued an executive order on Dec. 27, 2012, that would end the two-year salary freeze on March 27 — when the current continuing resolution expires — and give civilian federal workers a 0.5 percent raise in 2013. DeSantis’ move to block the order also applies to lawmakers, but Congress already voted to freeze its pay in 2013 in the fiscal cliff legislation signed into law in January. Continue reading “House to Vote on Fed Pay Freeze”

Public-Sector Workers Rally Against Sequestration

Public-Sector Workers Rally Against Sequestration

J. David Cox leads the protest at the Capitol
J. David Cox leads the protest at the Capitol American Federation of Government Employees

Hundreds of public-sector employees gathered with their unions outside the U.S. Capitol Building Tuesday for a rally against the automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

Representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees, a federal workers union, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which covers state and local workers, spoke to the crowd and instructed supporters to demand an alternative solution from Congress.

“We have to end this sequestration madness right now,” said J. David Cox, president of AFGE. “It hurts government workers, it hurts the American public, it hurts everyone.” Continue reading “Public-Sector Workers Rally Against Sequestration”

White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs

White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs

USDA food safety inspectors could be furloughed two weeks.
USDA food safety inspectors could be furloughed two weeks. AP file photo

The White House on Friday put out a fact sheet reiterating that the across-the-board spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1 would result in widespread furloughs of federal employees who provide critical government services from tax collection to law enforcement.

Because the sequester would occur later in the fiscal year than originally planned, non-defense agencies would be forced to absorb a 9 percent cut for the remaining seven months of the year, and the Defense Department would see a 13 percent cut, the White House said. Continue reading “White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs”

Obama to Back 1 Percent Pay Boost for Feds Next Year

Obama to Back 1 Percent Pay Boost for Feds Next Year

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama is proposing a 1 percent pay increase for federal civilian employees in fiscal 2014, according to federal employee labor unions.

The White House announced the decision to recommend the pay bump in Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal during a phone call with labor leaders on Friday. Obama is seeking a 0.5 percent pay increase for federal employees this year, scheduled to take effect after March 27, unless Congress blocks it. Federal civilian pay has been frozen since 2011. The Defense Department this week said it would recommend a 1 percent pay increase for troops in fiscal 2014. Continue reading “Obama to Back 1 Percent Pay Boost for Feds Next Year”