FMA NATIONAL PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FY16 BUDGET REQUEST - February 2, 2015
Alexandria, VA – Today, President Barack Obama released the Administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget request. It calls for the end to sequestration, proposes a 1.3 percent increase to federal employee salaries, and does not recommend a switch to chained-CPI. It also eliminates a prior request of asking federal employees to contribute even more to their retirement funds.
“The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) budget request is not only on time this year, but it builds positively on last year’s request,” commented Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Patricia Niehaus. “With the proposed pay increase, end of sequestration, and absence of several proposals he has suggested in previous budgets, we appreciate that the President recognizes federal employees have contributed far more than their fair share toward deficit reduction.
“FMA is pleased that the President’s budget request eliminates sequestration, and we urge the Congress to work with President Obama to end this poor policy. The blind, draconian cuts of sequestration force federal managers to strain to meet congressionally-mandated missions and jeopardizes the federal government’s ability to respond to the needs of the American public. When the federal government went through these initial cuts in March 2013, managers and employees alike faced furloughs, hindering their ability to efficiently perform their jobs. Additionally, several much needed programs were cancelled. Another round of these cuts would result in a less effective federal government.
“Federal managers see 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. The call for a 1.3 percent raise is welcome, and better than last year’s one percent, 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.
“The Association is grateful that the President did not include two proposals that he has offered before: increases to federal pensions and a switch to chained-CPI. FMA continues to oppose vigorously 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. 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 into the federal government. And switching to the chained-CPI calculation method would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustments for all social security recipients, not just federal retirees. We urge this harmful calculation method to be taken off the table for good.
“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. We have a long way to go to repair the damage done to the federal workforce over the last several years, but President Obama’s FY16 budget request is a step in the right direction.”