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Federal Managers Association

Press Release

  • Tuesday, March 04, 2014
  • FMA'S NIEHAUS COMMENTS ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FY15 BUDGET REQUEST - March 4, 2014
  • Alexandria, VA – Today, President Obama released the Administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget request. It proposes a one percent increase to federal employee salaries and does not recommend a switch to chained-CPI. It also eliminates the prior request of asking federal employees to contribute even more to their retirement funds.

    “Overall, the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget request is improved from recent years, including last year,” commented Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Patricia Niehaus. “As we anticipated, the President is proposing a one percent raise for federal employees, and the budget request does not include chained-CPI. We appreciate that the President recognizes federal employees have contributed far more than their fair share toward deficit reduction and is no longer targeting their pensions.    

    “As I noted last week, last year was an exceptionally difficult time for all federal employees. We faced the first year of sequestration, which caused furloughs, closed field offices, and delayed necessary services to Americans. The sixteen day partial government shutdown closed federal offices, again delaying services, and the country saw a loss of $24 billion in economic output. During this time, many federal employees struggled more than ever before. The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) saw an influx of emergency loan applications just to make ends meet as feds received dwindling pay checks, and made record hardship withdrawals from their retirement plans to get by.

    “Federal managers recognize that our country still finds itself mired in a slow-growing economy; however, we further recognize the continued dedication of the men and women of the federal workforce who serve their fellow Americans daily, at home and abroad. We protect our nation’s borders, provide care for our veterans and the elderly, ensure the safety of our food, and work alongside the country’s military forces. As I stated last month, we feel a one percent raise is better than nothing, but I continue to call upon the nation’s elected officials to return to the formulaic process employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine annual salary adjustment recommendations, and properly recognize the federal workforce as it strives to create a more efficient and effective federal government.”

    “We are pleased that chained-CPI is not in the budget proposal this year. However, the White House noted that chained-CPI is potentially still on the table for future budget negotiations. Switching to this calculation method would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustments for all social security recipients, not just federal retirees. We appreciate that the President saw fit to remove this proposal from the FY15 budget, and urge this harmful calculation method to be taken off the table for good.

     “FMA continues to oppose any proposal which calls for federal employees to contribute more towards their retirement plan, which is an immediate decrease in the take home pay of millions of hardworking Americans. Therefore, we are heartened that the President is no longer calling for a 1.2 percent increase to pension contributions for all federal employees. We remain concerned, however, that new hires are continually being asked to contribute more for the same benefits. Federal agencies and departments already dread the possibility of a hollow federal government due to difficulties with recruitment, and reduced benefits for new hires exacerbates the problem of attracting the best and the brightest to public service into the federal government. We are hopeful the President’s FY15 budget request is a signal that all federal employees can begin to breathe easier and avoid additional sacrifices.”

    “FMA looks forward to working with both the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management with regard to the President’s second term management agenda. We agree with the overall goal of ‘building a Government that focuses on results and draws on evidence-based practices to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is used wisely and to the maximum effect’ and we ask that FMA has every opportunity to participate in the process and influence the details of its implementation.”

    “It is time that the federal government returns to being a model employer. The American public deserves a fully-capable, well-treated federal workforce to provide the much needed services across the country that our citizens count on. American citizens should know that federal managers remain committed to ensuring our agencies are run effectively and efficiently during this time of fiscal uncertainty."

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