Federal employees in a new survey say unpaid furloughs under sequestration will only add to their troubles caused by pay freezes, hiring freezes and staff attrition in recent years.
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
The nations largest federal union, the National Treasury Employees Union, said a 2-year-old pay freeze already had crimped its workers household budgets.
About 2,200 of the unions 150,000 members, who work in 31 agencies and departments, participated in the survey.
Two-thirds said they had hiring freezes in their workplaces, nearly eight in 10 said employees who left were not being replaced, 48 percent said critical work was not getting done, and 68 percent said their agencies lacked the resources to properly do their work.
Personally, 82 percent of the poll respondents said loss of pay from furloughs would cause them to have trouble paying their bills.
These are not theoretical consequences, said union president Colleen Kelley. These are actual, serious problems that real people will face, with lasting impact on their lives.
Nearly one in five of the workers who answered the poll said a furlough would be financially damaging because spouses already had lost jobs or suffered pay cuts.
The union said federal workers already had contributed $103 billion to deficit reduction through the pay freeze, which began in January 2011. It also noted that new federal hires were making higher pension contributions, with no increase in annuity.
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