Budget Bills: Cut Postal, Federal Pay
03/25/2015 - Two congressional committees are proposing to solve the nation’s financial problems in part by reducing pay for millions of postal and federal employees.
Budget bills for fiscal year 2016 proposed by House and Senate committees last week would cut pay for postal and federal workers by increasing the amount employees must pay into retirement accounts – without any increase in benefits.
Under the budget bills, up to 6 percent of a postal worker’s wages would go toward funding retirement programs – reducing pay by thousands of dollars each year. In recent years, Congress increased the contributions required from employees covered by FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) from 0.8 percent to 4.4 percent.
Over the past five years, lawmakers have already cut federal and postal workers pay and benefits by $159 billion – and now they want more.
“There is no justification for these pay cuts,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The Postal Service is ‘off budget’ and doesn’t get a dime of taxpayer money,” he pointed out, “and postal pension accounts are almost fully funded.”
“If Congress was serious about reducing the deficit, they would eliminate the tax breaks for the Wall Street crowd instead of coming after workers,” he added.
Legislative and Political Director John Marcotte also condemned the proposals. “This is a blatant pay cut for postal workers,” he said. “Congress can’t continue to balance the federal budget on employees’ backs.
“We will vigorously fight these bills,” Marcotte said.