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Federal Managers Association

Press Release

  • Monday, February 12, 2018
  • Alexandria, VA - Today, President Donald Trump formally released his Administration's fiscal year 2019 (FY19) budget request. As anticipated, it calls for an across-the-board pay freeze for all federal employees in 2019. Like last year’s budget request, it includes enormous cuts to federal employee retirement benefits by raising employee contributions one percent a year for six years. It also eliminates cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for all FERS employees and cuts CSRS COLAs, eliminates the FERS annuity supplement, and proposes to base annuity calculations on an employees’ “High-5” salary years, instead of the High-3. Additionally, it seeks to modify the Thrift Savings Plan G-Fund. Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Renee Johnson made the following comments on the Trump Administration's budget plans.

    “To say we are disappointed with this budget request is an understatement. We called last year’s budget proposal “disastrous,” but at least it had the silver lining of a modest pay raise. This year’s offering proposes all of the same dramatic cuts to retirement packages, but calls for an across-the-board pay freeze on top of that. We are dismayed and offended by this callous and unfair proposal. We support the 2.6 percent pay raise proposed for the uniformed military, but that only makes us question the pay freeze for feds even more. The budget document itself praises civilian counterparts for helping the Armed Forces accomplish their missions.  

    “Federal managers dutifully spend every day fixing airplanes and ships that protect our national security, processing tax returns and Social Security payments, caring for our veterans, protecting our environment and food supply, and countless other services on behalf of all Americans. They deserve to be recognized and compensated fairly, and we are demoralized by the lack of pay parity. While we note the President has proposed an interagency fund in an effort to advance pay-for-performance, until we see greater detail FMA will continue to call for a judicious pay raise for federal employees. FMA has endorsed the effort in Congress to provide a reasonable 3.0 percent pay raise with the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, and will continue to push for the passage of this legislation.    

    "The government must not balance the budget on the backs of federal employees. FMA reiterates its vigorous opposition to the call for these taxpaying Americans to contribute more towards their retirement plans, with no added benefits, and cuts to cost-of-living adjustments and the FERS annuity supplement for all current feds. Reducing COLAs for existing retirees – literally taking money from older people on fixed incomes, who served their country honorably – is a broken promise and is abominable. 

    “In addition to hurting current and retired feds, this budget proposal would only increase the challenges of recruitment and retention. Even more cutting of benefits will certainly make the task of attracting the best and the brightest that much more difficult.

    “While details are still emerging, it appears the budget calls to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget by about a quarter from current levels, and cuts the Internal Revenue Service budget by another 6.1 percent, even as it prepares the major implementation of the 2017 tax law. If enacted, these extensive cuts will have long-standing negative effects on their vital missions. On the bright side, we are pleased the Pentagon will not call for another round of Base Realignment and Closure.

    “We still await more information about the agency reorganization plans that were submitted last September as directed by Executive Order 13781. Change can be necessary and good, including when it comes to civil service reform. For example, shared services and similar reforms can certainly boost efficiency. At the same time, any book on leadership will tell you it must be open, honest, and transparent to help promote a healthy workplace culture, build trust, and better employee engagement. This budget document is considered a ‘first step’ in the rollout, and management is eager to know more about proposed reorganization plans, as managers are charged with frontline implementation. For any reorganization to be successful, especially on the broad magnitude of the federal workforce, there needs to be cooperation and buy-in. FMA urges Congress to exercise bipartisan oversight of all reorganization plans in order to effectively gauge how they may impact agency missions and services Americans rely on.     
    “The federal government must continue to strive to be a model employer. The American public deserves a federal workforce that receives the resources it needs to provide the services our citizens count on. Congress passed – and President Trump signed – a long-term spending plan last week, and FMA urges Congress to eliminate the demoralizing cuts to the federal workforce this budget request proposes."