(National Journal) – The Federal-Postal Coalition — a group representing more than two dozen federal employee unions — pleaded with Congress on Monday to spare their members in any deal related to the “fiscal cliff.”
Federal workers, the coalition wrote in a letter, have contributed more than their fair share toward reducing the debt and are the only group that has been targeted so heavily.
“Federal and postal employees and their families are hardworking, middle-class Americans who are struggling during these tough times just like other Americans,” the group wrote. “No other group has been asked to financially contribute the way they have, and it is time our nation’s leaders found other ways to reduce the deficit than continually taking from those who have dedicated their lives to public service.”
According to the coalition, federal employees have funded $60 billion in budget savings in 2011 and 2012 as a result of their ongoing pay freeze and an additional $28 billion in savings will be derived from the freeze extension through March 2013.
Federal workers also contributed $15 billion toward the budget in 2011 when the contribution rate toward retirement pensions was raised to 2.3 percent for new employees.
Top Democratic lawmakers on committees related to the federal workforce told Government Executive last week that they would like to leave federal-employee benefits out of any potential debt deal. After President Obama’s reelection, top federal unions said they were confident their members would not be targeted in such a deal and a pay raise would be instituted.
In recent negotiations, Republicans are beginning to show signs they will agree to create new revenues from top earners, while specifics of spending cuts still are being hammered out.