Letters to the editor for Friday, April 3, 2015

Stop treating federal employees as an ATM

As a veteran, a member of the American Federation of Government Employees, and the executive vice president of AFGE local 2152, I work hard for my pay and retirement (and have done so for 20 years).

You have probably heard that government retirement is on the chopping block; but what you may not know is how much we have already sacrificed in the name of deficit reduction. Workers like myself and my colleagues have already given $159 billion for deficit reduction; that’s billion with a “b.”

Some politicians in the House and Senate have proposed a new federal budget that digs even further into our retirement security, our health insurance, and our pay. The proposal will nearly octuple the amount I pay for my retirement plan without increasing my benefits by a cent. This represents a permanent pay cut, or three weeks of lost pay every year for the rest of my career.

We’ve done more than our fair share and continue to provide services that the American public has come to rely on. Government workers like me have sacrificed enough — not only have we paid more than our fair share in our economy, but more than 40 percent of federal employees are veterans. We cannot continue to treat our federal employees like an ATM. It’s time for politicians to stop scapegoating public servants and focus on delivering quality services to the American people.

Dawn Riggs



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