Federal Managers Association
- FMA CALLS PRESIDENT'S BUDGET A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION - February 9, 2016
Alexandria, VA - Today, President Barack Obama released the Administration's fiscal year 2017 budget request. It proposes a 1.6 percent increase to federal employee salaries and calls for six weeks of paid parental leave for feds. Notably, like his fiscal year 2016 budget request, the proposal refrains from asking federal employees to contribute even more to their retirement funds. The Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Patricia Niehaus made the following comments on the Obama Administration's budget plans.
"The President's Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget request continues the positive strides made in last year's request. With the proposed pay increase, recognition of the need for parental leave, and an absence of harmful cuts to federal benefits seen in previous budgets, we appreciate the steps this budget takes to acknowledge the hard work of federal employees.
"Federal managers see the continued dedication of the men and women of the federal workforce who serve their fellow Americans daily, at home and abroad. We protect our nation's borders, provide care for our veterans and the elderly, ensure the safety of our food, and work alongside the country's military forces. The call for a 1.6 percent raise is welcome, but I continue to call upon the nation's elected officials to return to the formulaic process employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine annual salary adjustment recommendations, and properly recognize the federal workforce as it strives to create a more efficient and effective federal government. In order to create a sustainable federal workforce, it is necessary that pay reflect the value of the work being done and the demands placed on employees.
"I have stated repeatedly that it is time that the federal government returns to being a model employer. Toward that end, I am pleased that the President's budget proposes to give all federal employees up to six weeks of paid parental leave. This is a commonsense and compassionate benefit that is long overdue for our nation's civil servants and their loved ones. Additionally, this is a vital recruitment tool that allows the federal government to attract the brightest and best.
"The Association is also grateful that President Obama once again avoided including two onerous proposals that he has offered in previous budget requests: increases to federal pension contributions and a switch to chained-CPI. FMA continues to oppose vigorously any proposal which calls for federal employees to contribute more towards their retirement plan, which would amount to an immediate decrease in the take home pay of millions of hardworking Americans. New hires continue to be asked to contribute more for the same benefits as their colleagues. Federal agencies and departments already dread the possibility of a hollow federal government due to difficulties with recruitment, and reduced benefits for new hires exacerbates the problem of attracting the best and the brightest into the federal government. And switching to the chained-CPI calculation method would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustments for all social security recipients, not just federal retirees. We urge this harmful calculation method to be taken off the table for good.
"The American public deserves a fully-capable, funded federal workforce that provides the much needed and demanded services across the country that our citizens count on. While there is still work to be done, this budget offers necessary steps that make critical investments to create a sustainable federal workforce."