byÂ Eric Katz, Government Executive
Federal workers, the coalition wrote in a letter, have contributed more than their fair share toward reducing the debt and are the only group that has been targeted so heavily.
â€œFederal and postal employees and their families are hardworking, middle-class Americans who are struggling during these tough times just like other Americans,â€ the group wrote. â€œNo other group has been asked to financially contribute the way they have, and it is time our nationâ€™s leaders found other ways to reduce the deficit than continually taking from those who have dedicated their lives to public service.â€
According to the coalition, federal employees have funded $60 billion in budget savings in 2011 and 2012 as a result of their ongoing pay freeze and an additional $28 billion in savings will be derived from theÂ freeze extensionÂ through March 2013.
Federal workers also contributed $15 billion toward the budget in 2011 when the contribution rate toward retirement pensionsÂ was raisedÂ to 2.3 percent for new employees.
Top Democratic lawmakers on committees related to the federal workforceÂ toldÂ Government ExecutiveÂ last week that they would like to leave federal-employee benefits out of any potential debt deal. After President Obamaâ€™s reelection, top federal unionsÂ saidÂ they were confident their members would not be targeted in such a deal and a pay raise would be instituted.
InÂ recent negotiations, Republicans are beginning to show signs they will agree to create new revenues from top earners, while specifics of spending cuts still are being hammered out.
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