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Support for Federal Pay and Pensions Grows

9 Republicans in the House join more than 100 House Democrats in their support for federal employees. In a letter that was sent on June 17 to the House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Keven McCarthy, it was noted that over 30% of all federal employees are military veterans. Also, noting that such changes would break a promise made by the United States to current and retired employees.

Federal employees have already suffered pay freezes, reduced pay increases, increased contributions to retirement, and unpaid furloughs. The letter cited past legislation that has already cost $182 billon to federal employees.

The President’s FY 2018 budget proposal would:

  • Increase retirement contributions by 6% with no additional benefit. This equals an immediate and permanent 6% pay cut.
  • Reduce (CSRS) or eliminate (FERS) the cost of living increase for current or future federal retirees.
  • Adjust the retirement calculation from the highest 3 years of salary to 5 years. Which would lower your expected retirement payments.

At the end of the letter the 9 House Republicans state; No one needs to remind us of the deficit and debt problem our nation faces, but federal employees are an easy political target. In more ways than one, they have already repeatedly given at the office.”

With growing support for the federal workforce, it is somewhat assuring to know that attempts to go after pay and pensions again will be met with bi-partisan resistance.


Legislative efforts reflect a push to limit rights, workplace protections

Full articlePersistent congressional efforts to cut back workplace protections for federal employees advanced when the House voted to dilute due process rights for Department of Veterans Affairs employees.

Wednesday’s debate was similar to one last year when Congress approved a law that included an even harsher attack on due process for VA Senior Executive Service members. That effort and this one also are part of a growing push on Capitol Hill to limit the rights, pay and workplace protections for feds across the government.

                                           [Source: Joe Davidson Washington Post]


The President Signs Bills that Modernize U.S. Trade Policy


New Leave Flexibility for Parents


Call to modernize leave policies for federal employees

Pointing out the fact that the U.S. lags behind almost every country in ensuring some form of paid parental leave, and that workplace flexibilities help in recruiting and retaining employees, the President issued an Executive Memorandum directing agencies to ensure that their policies offer 240 hours of advanced sick leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child or for other sick leave eligible uses.  In addition, the memo directs agencies to offer the maximum amount of advanced annual leave permitted by law for bonding with a healthy newborn or newly adopted child.  Sick and annual leave as described in the memo have generally been available at the discretion of the manager.  The memo should make it easier for federal employees to take advantage of these flexibilities.  OPM is tasked with issuing guidance on these directives within 60 days. 

             The memo also urges agencies to consider offering access to programs that provide affordable emergency backup dependent care.  Finally, the memo directs agencies to use discretionary flexibilities to the maximum extent possible.

             The White House also indicated that the President will be sending legislation on paid parental leave for federal employees to the Hill in the near future.  While NTEU supports the President’s memo on paid parental leave, those actions are limited by federal law.  New law is needed for a paid parental leave program that will provide the same kind of benefit enjoyed by parents in the rest of the developed world.  Since 2003, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced bills, supported by NTEU, to provide paid parental leave to federal employees.  We look forward to the President’s version.   I will provide updates as they become available.


                                                                                     - Colleen M. Kelley NTEU National President


IRS Funding Cut for fifth consecutive year

I am deeply disappointed in Congress’ decision to slash the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget to $10.9 billion—a reduction of 3 percent. In fact, this is the fifth consecutive year that Congress has cut the IRS budget, while staffing declines and workloads mount. These cuts are devastating to the IRS’ ability to accomplish its mission. The original House-passed bill, which would have funded the IRS at an irresponsible $9.8 billion, a reduction of $1.5 billion below the current level, made it nearly impossible for the Senate to keep its proposed increase of $236 million in the final bill.

Since the IRS collects 93 percent of the revenue that funds all of government, this should be of grave concern to every American. Congress has made it very difficult for the IRS to operate effectively and for employees to do their jobs. NTEU was very vocal in its objections to these cuts and will now work with the agency to minimize the impact on the IRS workforce. 

                                                                            -Colleen M. Kelley NTEU National President


Federal pay 

On a positive note, H.R. 83 ensures that federal employees will receive a 1 percent pay raise in January. While this is far less than you deserve, until this bill was approved, there were no guarantees that the president’s recommended raise would remain in place. NTEU believes the increase should be higher and that remains a top priority for the union. I am grateful for the leadership of Sen. Barbara Mikulski who worked to ensure the federal pay raise would remain intact.

                                                                            -Colleen M. Kelley NTEU National President


Congressional Failure

As the fiscal brinksmanship continues, so does NTEU’s fight for the resources you need to do your jobs. Given the critical work performed by you and your colleagues, it is extremely frustrating that some in Congress continue to insist on cuts to agency budgets and employee compensation. NTEU is here to speak for you on these critical issues and to ensure that your concerns are brought to the attention of lawmakers. As we prepare for the coming session of Congress, you can be sure that we will continue to fight for fair pay and appropriate funding.

                                                                            -Colleen M. Kelley NTEU National President


Vote in 2014! It could impact your job, pay, benefits, and retirement!


Congress continues to attack federal employees

NTEU compiles a voting record detailing how each member of the House and Senate votes on issues affecting federal employees.  NTEU only considers how members of Congress voted on issues directly affecting federal workers when compiling these records.  This information is available at:

As federal employees how congress votes effects all aspects of your job, benefits, and retirement! Hold your representatives accountable.

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