AFGE called on Congress to cease mean-spirited cuts to federal workers' pay and benefits today following the release of abysmally-low employee morale scores as part of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
"Public servants continue to suffer under a Congress that seems determined to make it harder for them to serve the American people," said AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr. "The constant threat of another pay cut, retirement give-back, or government shutdown is like a weight on the shoulders of every federal employee in this country, and morale will continue to suffer until that weight is lifted."
With the threat of another shutdown looming near the holiday season, Cox said that federal employees were putting big purchases and major life decisions on hold until Congress could guarantee that the government would continue to operate past the December 11 expiration of the current continuing resolution.
"It barely been more than a week since we were on the brink of another government shutdown," Cox said. "Congress has made all of us — from federal employees to the people we serve — live in an era of constant uncertainty."
Cox said he was proud that 90 percent of survey participants resolutely reported that they were committed to going the extra mile despite slashed budgets, limited resources, and a meager 1% pay increase after three years of pay freezes, but enough is enough.
"Federal employees have important work to do like protecting our borders, inspecting our food and providing services to our Veterans. Congress needs to give them the tools to carry out the promises we've made to the American people," he added.
Cox also encouraged agencies to meet AFGE members at the bargaining table if they wanted to see a real spike in federal employee engagement.
"The survey results show that agencies consistently rank higher when employees have a real voice at the workplace," Cox said. "Yet several agencies continue to stonewall our efforts to update contracts to improve working conditions for their employees. When it comes to boosting employee engagement, there is no substitute for a good collective bargaining agreement."