Rep. Ron DeSantis introduces bill to extend freeze in federal workers’ pay

The bill, sponsored by GOP freshman Ron DeSantis of Florida, would continue a two-year long pay freeze for federal government employees. The bill appears to have the support of House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who says it will come to a vote next week:

As you might expect, the American Federation of Government Employees opposes the bill:

On behalf of the 670,000 federal and D.C. government workers represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, I strongly urge lawmakers to oppose a bill introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis that would extend the current two-and-a-half year pay freeze for federal employees through the end of 2013.

Federal salaries have not been adjusted since January 2010, and new employees will pay nearly four times more than their coworkers for retirement benefits. These measures will cost employees and save taxpayers more than $103 billion over the next decade.

Federal pay should not be politicized in this way. The salary freeze along with the threat of furloughs, layoffs and another complete government shutdown are a punishment in search of a crime. Federal employees had no part in the financial crisis and the ensuing recession, and they should not be forced into penury to reduce a deficit they had no part in creating.

The loyal, patriotic, working class and middle class Americans who make up the civilian federal workforce have done their part to address the budget deficit. Now is the time for the pay freeze to end.

President Obama has proposed a modest 0.5 percent pay raise that is scheduled to take effect in April, and Congress should not stand in the way of this raise taking effect. It would unfairly punish hard-working Americans who help ensure the safety, security and prosperity of our great country each and every day.

In 2010, USA Today reported that federal government workers make substantially more than private-sector workers in similar jobs:

Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according toBureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

Not only that, but federal employees make out much better than their private sector counterparts when it comes to fringe benefits:

These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Given those disparities, extending the pay freeze is good policy and, for Republicans, good politics.

  • Jason Marcus

    Is this a news article or an editorial? (BTW, the accuracy of that USA Today report) has been hotly contested.)

  • digitalPimple

    I would have to side with the congressmen on this one. There seems to be no reason to end the freeze at this time.

    Tax payers are getting hammered and did not create the economic problems either. The president has not acted to put a stop to the spending and make any mandatory and responsible cuts what-so-ever. We must stop bleeding the tax payers who ultimately pay the final price for these politicians and their grand plans.

    You can not expect a pay increace in A) this current economy B) With the current unemployment rate in this country C) The massive debts accumulated over the past 6 years.

    Until the POTUS puts down his endless dog and pony HERO show and gets serious, this is just to be expected. No reason to bitch really.

    Federal employees need not feel bad, their planned pay increase is going to very good causes. That should be enough to get your ass on the bus. 😉

  • FreedomRecon

    My company froze pay in 2009 and my insurance costs have tripled. Federal employees should suffer just like the private sector since their pay comes out of our paychecks.

  • 1SkepticalChick

    The last company I worked for (2000 -2010) gave me raises totaling 3.17 an hour over that 10 year period. 1.00 of that occured in the first year. The remainder amounts to less than .25 an hour per year over the next 9 years. During that period rent went up. Utilities went up. Insurances deductables and co-pays went up. Food went up. Gas went up. Inflation far outpaced the increases I was getting. Oh, and my 401k went down the toilet the last 2 years before I was forced into retirement for health reasons. So, how do these Federal employees get to complain over going without a raise for 2 years?