NARFE President Richard Thissen Reacts to President Obama’s FY17 Budget.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
February 9, 2016 jklement@narfe.org
  703-838-7760

Alexandria, VA – Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), issued the following statement following the release of President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget.

On the federal employee pay raise:

“NARFE welcomes the 1.6 percent pay raise proposed by President Obama. For the first time in seven years, the increase follows the letter of the law. However, the proposed increase still lags behind the average increase in private-sector pay, which rose by 2.1 percent, according to the Employment Cost Index, calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now that our economy is on a stronger footing, it is time to start closing, not growing, the gap between public- and private-sector wages and salaries. That gap now stands at more than 35 percent and is contributing to the wave of federal retirements and shrinking number of younger workers entering the civil service.

“Over the past six years, federal employee wages increased 3.3 percent, while private-sector wages rose 11.3 percent and the cost of living increased 9.2 percent. This sends a powerful message to job seekers who are likely to question whether a career in the public sector would provide the income necessary to support a family, buy a house and save for the future.

“Any good employer knows you need competitive wages to recruit and retain the best and the brightest. NARFE urges Congress to appropriate a pay raise that will allow the government to be competitive in the hiring process and keep pace with the private sector. With the numerous challenges we face, now is not the time to make public service less attractive to potential employees.”

On exclusion of proposal to cut Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) benefits:

“We are very thankful that the President heeded NARFE’s calls and took this final opportunity to put a stop to proposals originating from the previous administration that would unfairly and arbitrarily reduce workers’ compensation benefits for federal and postal employees disabled by job-related injuries or illnesses.

“FECA’s basic compensation benefit ought to make employees whole financially, maintaining their compensation at the level it would have been had their public service not been cut short by an unforeseen job-related injury or workplace-induced illness. This includes compensation during both working-age and retirement-age years.

“Proposals to reduce benefits contained in previous budgets relied on the assumption that benefits in retirement age under FECA are excessive. But that assumption has since been debunked by a Government Accountability Office report, which found that FECA benefits are no greater (or even less) than comparable FERS retirement packages, and that the previous budget proposals would provide substantially smaller retirement age benefits. NARFE is grateful that the President reconsidered his position based on the factual evidence provided by the GAO, and dropped the ill-advised proposal from his budget.”

On paid parental leave for federal employees:


“NARFE applauds the President for his proposal to provide six weeks of paid leave to federal employees for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. This policy is long overdue, and Congress should pass legislation this year that will remedy that.

“It is embarrassing that America is the only industrialized nation whose civil service employees do not receive a single day of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. But enactment of this legislation is about more than competing with other countries, it’s about competing with other employers for talented younger workers. More than half of U.S. private-sector employers offer paid parental leave. Federal employees are forced to use accrued vacation or sick time, or otherwise forgo pay to take time off after the birth of a child. This is a clear disadvantage for the federal government when competing to hire top talent, especially at a time when public-sector pay continues to lag behind the private sector.

“As more and more private-sector companies are learning, offering comparable benefits improve both employee morale and retention of good employees. The federal government would be wise to follow suit.”

                                                                           # # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.


 

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

NARFE President Richard Thissen Reacts to President Obama’s FY17 Budget.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
February 9, 2016 jklement@narfe.org
  703-838-7760

Alexandria, VA – Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), issued the following statement following the release of President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget.

On the federal employee pay raise:

“NARFE welcomes the 1.6 percent pay raise proposed by President Obama. For the first time in seven years, the increase follows the letter of the law. However, the proposed increase still lags behind the average increase in private-sector pay, which rose by 2.1 percent, according to the Employment Cost Index, calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now that our economy is on a stronger footing, it is time to start closing, not growing, the gap between public- and private-sector wages and salaries. That gap now stands at more than 35 percent and is contributing to the wave of federal retirements and shrinking number of younger workers entering the civil service.

“Over the past six years, federal employee wages increased 3.3 percent, while private-sector wages rose 11.3 percent and the cost of living increased 9.2 percent. This sends a powerful message to job seekers who are likely to question whether a career in the public sector would provide the income necessary to support a family, buy a house and save for the future.

“Any good employer knows you need competitive wages to recruit and retain the best and the brightest. NARFE urges Congress to appropriate a pay raise that will allow the government to be competitive in the hiring process and keep pace with the private sector. With the numerous challenges we face, now is not the time to make public service less attractive to potential employees.”

On exclusion of proposal to cut Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) benefits:

“We are very thankful that the President heeded NARFE’s calls and took this final opportunity to put a stop to proposals originating from the previous administration that would unfairly and arbitrarily reduce workers’ compensation benefits for federal and postal employees disabled by job-related injuries or illnesses.

“FECA’s basic compensation benefit ought to make employees whole financially, maintaining their compensation at the level it would have been had their public service not been cut short by an unforeseen job-related injury or workplace-induced illness. This includes compensation during both working-age and retirement-age years.

“Proposals to reduce benefits contained in previous budgets relied on the assumption that benefits in retirement age under FECA are excessive. But that assumption has since been debunked by a Government Accountability Office report, which found that FECA benefits are no greater (or even less) than comparable FERS retirement packages, and that the previous budget proposals would provide substantially smaller retirement age benefits. NARFE is grateful that the President reconsidered his position based on the factual evidence provided by the GAO, and dropped the ill-advised proposal from his budget.”

On paid parental leave for federal employees:


“NARFE applauds the President for his proposal to provide six weeks of paid leave to federal employees for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. This policy is long overdue, and Congress should pass legislation this year that will remedy that.

“It is embarrassing that America is the only industrialized nation whose civil service employees do not receive a single day of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. But enactment of this legislation is about more than competing with other countries, it’s about competing with other employers for talented younger workers. More than half of U.S. private-sector employers offer paid parental leave. Federal employees are forced to use accrued vacation or sick time, or otherwise forgo pay to take time off after the birth of a child. This is a clear disadvantage for the federal government when competing to hire top talent, especially at a time when public-sector pay continues to lag behind the private sector.

“As more and more private-sector companies are learning, offering comparable benefits improve both employee morale and retention of good employees. The federal government would be wise to follow suit.”

                                                                           # # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.


 

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FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.