Obama wants smaller raises for fed employees

The president intends to trim their Jan. 1 pay increase from 2.4 to 2 percent

Citing the economic downturn and the skyrocketing federal budget, President Obama on Aug. 31 sent Congress a letter announcing his intention to trim the Jan. 1 pay raise scheduled for most federal employees from 2.4 percent to 2 percent. In his letter, Obama cited Title 5 of the U.S. Code, which he said authorizes him to implement an alternative pay plan if he judges the pay adjustments to be inappropriate due to “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare.”

Obama claimed that such an emergency as defined in that law has existed since 9/11.Obama also noted that “few would disagree that our country is facing serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” and that “growth in federal requirements is straining the federal budget.”

However, in the days since the announcement, several federal employees’ unions have strongly disagreed with the president’s call for reducing federal pay increases.

“Bringing federal pay and benefit practices more in line with the private sector would in fact require a hefty pay increase for federal workers,” said William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). “Federal workers do their part to keep the federal budget down every day when they accept substantially less compensation to do the same work as their counterparts in the private sector."

To see more, go to: www.nteu.org or www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Letter-from-the-President-to-the-Speaker-of-the-House-8/31/09/.

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