SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1

SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1

By Jeff Bratko, Steward AFGE Local 704

You’ve probably heard the word “sequestration” used by the news media during the last few months.  Some people refer to it as being part of the “fiscal cliff” that may occur in January 2013.  There is a lot we do not know about how sequestration will be implemented.  Unfortunately, management is handling sequestration the way it handled the furlough threat a couple of years ago. It does not appear that specific plans for dealing with the sequestration are being shared with employees.  That means that you are on your own in terms of planning for the sequestration.  Waiting to make plans for the sequestration until management provides us with some facts may be a costly mistake.  However, in order to make plans you need some basic facts and that is what this fact sheet provides.

What is sequestration? Continue reading “SEQUESTRATION FACT SHEET #1”

An Upside to the Pay Freeze

An Upside to the Pay Freeze

It’s safe to say the two-year federal pay freeze has not been popular with government workers. Even those who support the freeze acknowledge its limitations: the savings it has generated (estimates are between $60 billion and $70 billion) is a drop in the deficit-reduction bucket, and it’s not exactly a morale booster. The GOP policy platform, which calls for overhauling the federal pay system to bring it in line with the private sector’s, and Obama’s decision to postpone a 0.5 percent pay boost 2013 until Congress passes a budget, has put the issue in the crosshairs once again.

But there could be an upside to the pay freeze for feds. It puts a slight chink in the argument that federal employees are way overpaid compared to private sector workers — a debate that rages on both sides and probably will never be settled definitively. The libertarian Cato Institute, the Washington think tank that has argued federal employees are too generously compensated compared to their private sector counterparts, acknowledged in a recent blog post that the “federal pay advantage” has narrowed, partly as a result of the two-year pay freeze. Continue reading “An Upside to the Pay Freeze”

Fast Rise Built With Discipline

August 29, 2012

Fast Rise Built With Discipline

By and

WASHINGTON — In the early 1990s, Tortilla Coast, a popular Capitol Hill watering hole, was staffed by ambitious young men and women flinging Tex-Mex and margaritas at patrons whose jobs in the nearby House and Senate office buildings they not so secretly coveted.

One of those waiters, a tall, dark-haired Midwesterner named Paul Ryan, stood out to his boss and co-workers. He was the guy who always showed up for work on time, wore neatly pressed khakis and chatted about economic policy as he floated along in a kayak at an after-work party. While the other twentysomethings pounded beers after work, Mr. Ryan was known to stick to just a few.

“I think even then he probably had an eye toward his future,” said Scott Johnson, a waiter back then who was looking for work in the Clinton administration. Continue reading “Fast Rise Built With Discipline”

The Really Dangerous Candidates – For AFGE Members Only

IMPORTANT: You may view this email using your home email on your personal computer, smart phone, or other electronic device. BUT, this information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time, or sent to others using government equipment, because it involves taking an election related action and could be a violation of the Hatch Act.

AFGE PAC

Dear AFGE Local 704 Brothers and Sisters!

With just a few seats, the Senate could be in the control of politicians just as extreme as Paul Ryan.

We can stop them, though, if we use the power in numbers that corporate donors can’t give them.

George Allen, who referred to federal employees as “sanctimonious social engineers” in a debate over the Virginia Senate seat that he’s after, won’t make the news this week.

The headlines right now will focus on Paul Ryan, even though candidates for the US Senate like Allen or Josh Mandel or Todd Akin are just as extreme as Ryan, and they will be just as dangerous if they win.

Because right now, every tax on your pension, budget cut, or pay freeze extension that’s passed in the House is stopped by slim margins in the Senate. But after November’s elections we could see those proposals become law. Immediately.

That is, unless the candidates who will fight for the middle class have our support. We must fight to elect pro-labor candidates like Allen’s opponent in Virginia, Tim Kaine, who has worked hard for good jobs and fair pay, along with supporting tax fairness initiatives like the “Buffet Rule.”

Chip in a few dollars today and help us support candidates like Kaine, and ensure that extreme candidates don’t turn the Senate into a rubber stamp for Bush-era policies. Simply sign in with your username and password to the AFGE website to contribute to AFGE PAC quickly and easily online.

It’s no secret what the Republican Party would do if they take control of the Senate and hold on to the House. Our 2-year pay freeze wouldn’t end in December. It would go on for 10 years, taking $60 billion from worker pockets while the rich pay nothing. If they had their way, your pensions would be taxed for another $15 billion. And 10% of us would be fired.

At any given time there are dozens of bills in the GOP-majority House that target federal workers through pay freezes, unpaid furloughs, or pension taxes.

These aren’t just threats or proposals – that’s the GOP-led reality. All these measures have already passed the House. And with control of the Senate, they’d be federal law faster than you can say “Tea Party.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Candidates like Chris Murphy, Claire McCaskill, John Tester and Sherrod Brown have shown that they care about protecting jobs and the infrastructure that makes the United States great. And AFGE PAC is committed to putting strong candidates that are committed to tax fairness and a strong middle class into office.

Sign-in here to chip in a few dollars to the AFGE PAC. It will only take a minute, but doing so could save your pension, our livelihood, and the middle class.

You and I don’t have deep pockets or corporate accounts like most campaign donors – but we have a power in numbers that they don’t have. If we stick together we can make a real difference in this election.

In solidarity,

J. David Cox, Sr.
President, AFGE


For the latest updates on your pension, pay, budget cuts, and other news, text “NoCuts” on your personal phone to 225-568 or sign up online.

Please do not reply to this email. If you would like to unsubscribe from the AFGE list, you can visit your subscription management page.

Congressional pay raise in 2013?

Congressional pay raise in 2013?

Shutterstock.com

Members of Congress are on track to receive a pay raise in 2013, unless they vote against it when they return from August recess.

The maximum pay boost lawmakers are eligible for in 2013 is 1.1 percent, or about $1,900 for most. The 1989 Ethics Reform Act created the current formula, which is based on changes in private sector wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index, and automatically takes effect unless Congress votes against it, or it’s more than the pay raise given to federal workers.

It’s unlikely that lawmakers, who earn $174,000 a year if they don’t hold leadership positions, will see an extra $1,900 in their paychecks next year for a few reasons. While the methods for determining the annual pay raises of lawmakers and federal employees vary slightly, the two are tied. Lawmakers’ annual pay adjustments cannot exceed the annual base pay adjustments of General Schedule employees. (Lawmakers do not receive locality pay.) When Congress approved a two-year pay freeze for government workers beginning January 2011, it effectively froze its own pay. In fact, lawmakers have denied themselves pay increases since 2009. Continue reading “Congressional pay raise in 2013?”