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”

Updated: Sequestration Watch — Potential agency-by-agency impacts of across-the-board cuts

Updated: Sequestration Watch — Potential agency-by-agency impacts of across-the-board cuts

  • December 20, 2012

This story has been updated following a Dec. 20 Office of Management and Budget email on sequestration.

Details are scarce on how the across-the-board budget cuts set to kick in on Jan. 2, 2013, would affect jobs at specific agencies. But some indications are trickling in. We have compiled a list of possible implications, should Congress and President Obama fail to reach a deficit reduction agreement in time to avoid the sequester. Some of the predictions are based on information from agencies, others are from outside groups analyzing the situation. We will update the list as more information becomes available. Please use the comment section below to let us know if you have additional information about your agency. Continue reading “Updated: Sequestration Watch — Potential agency-by-agency impacts of across-the-board cuts”

Shrinking staffs imperil missions at key agencies

Shrinking staffs imperil missions at key agencies

Jun. 18, 2012 – 08:09AM   |
By STEPHEN LOSEY

The IRS saw a 6 percent staffing cut last year.

The 0.5 percent decline in the federal workforce last year — the first in five years — may not seem like much. But at the agencies where the cuts are most pronounced, the impact is big.

The Social Security Administration — which saw its staff shrink 6 percent last year — warned Congress last month it cannot keep up with swelling workloads as baby boomers retire and more Americans file for benefits.

At the IRS, which also saw a 6 percent staffing cut last year, fewer tax enforcement agents translates to $4 billion a year in uncollected revenues, according to the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees. The IRS has also cut customer service staff who help people pay their taxes.

“Everything is taking longer,” NTEU President Colleen Kelley said in an interview. “There are fewer examinations being done, fewer employees to help taxpayers get on payment plans, and the IRS is collecting less revenue, which means less money to fund every other agency.”

In most cases, agencies are cutting their workforces to help meet budget constraints. At some places, that means freezing hiring and not replacing employees who retire. At others — such as the IRS — buyouts have been offered to trim the ranks.

With the White House and Congress facing increasing pressure to cut the deficit — and steep cuts looming in January as part of the sequestration process — budgets are certain to get even tighter. And some experts fear Congress will continue cutting budgets without scaling back agencies’ missions, which will force some agencies to cut staffing to dangerous levels. Continue reading “Shrinking staffs imperil missions at key agencies”

Sequestration Watch: Potential agency-by-agency impacts of across-the-board cuts

Sequestration Watch: Potential agency-by-agency impacts of across-the-board cuts

  • December 14, 2012

Details are scarce on how the across-the-board budget cuts set to kick in on Jan. 2, 2013, would affect jobs at specific agencies. But some indications are trickling in. We have compiled a list of possible implications, should Congress and President Obama fail to reach a deficit reduction agreement in time to avoid the sequester. Some of the predictions are based on information from agencies, others are from outside groups analyzing the situation. We will update the list as more information becomes available. Please use the comment section below to let us know if you have additional information about your agency.

Commerce Department: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association could face the loss of 2,500 jobs in weather and satellite programs. 10,780 new jobs in water infrastructure would be threatened.

Defense Departments: The department is in the early stages of planning. Civilians could face furloughs and a hiring freeze.

Education Department: Furloughs are possible, according to Secretary Arne Duncan.

Federal Aviation Administration: As many as 2,200 air traffic controllers could be furloughed.

Federal courts: 20,000 employees could be furloughed for 16 days.

Homeland Security Department: 24,500 jobs could be slashed.

Justice Department: Possible five-week furloughs for FBI employees. 7,500 positions could be eliminated.

NASA: 20,500 contractors could lose their jobs.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Has ruled out furloughs or salary cuts.

Social Security Administration: Employees could be furloughed for two to three weeks.

Veterans Affairs Department: Mostly exempt from sequestration.

Kedar Pavgi completed the research for this report.