GOP Votes Pay Cut For Postal, Federal Workers

May 11, 2012

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The House of Representatives voted for a 5 percent cut in postal and federal workers’ pay on May 10 by approving an increase in employees' pension contributions. Republican members of the House provided all 218 votes in favor of the measure, while 183 Democrats and 16 Republicans opposed it. The 2012 Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, introduced by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), would phase-in the five percent contribution increases to both the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) over five years.

The bill requires FERS employees to contribute 5.8 percent of each paycheck toward the FERS basic annuity portion of their pensions and requires CSRS employees to contribute 12 percent, yet it does not increase employees’ annuities or provide any additional benefits upon retirement. The bill would also require new federal employees who are hired after 2012 with fewer than five years of previous federal service to immediately pay 5.8 percent to the FERS plan, with no phase-in. In addition, the bill would eliminate the FERS Social Security supplement for new employees hired beginning in 2013, which is now paid to FERS employees who voluntarily retire before reaching age 62.

“Once again, Congressional Republicans are insisting on balancing the budget on the backs of public servants who provide important services to the American people," said APWU President Cliff Guffey.

The bill will next be considered by the U.S. Senate. Members are urged to contact their two U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose this egregious attack on postal and federal employees.

“This bill is reprehensible. I encourage union members to contact their Senators and ask them to remove this provision when it is considered,” the union president said.

“APWU members should also contact the offices of their U.S. representative and ask why supporters of H.R. 5652 voted to cut their pay,” said Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid.

Union members can reach their senators' and representative's offices by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. To find out how your representative voted, click here.

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