Public servants have been forced to give up $182 billion in wages and benefits since the start of the economic crisis – that amounts to a $91,000 pay cut per employee. And AFGE HUD members are tired of all the take-backs.
Congress last year the federal transit subsidy from $130 to $255 to give federal employees a little breather. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took that away by refusing to immediately give them the maximum amount of $255. That's when AFGE Local 476 members leaped into action.
Thanks to the their work, all HUD employees who receive the transit subsidy will get up to $1,500 in transit subsidy they wouldn't have otherwise received this year.
HUD employees previously received a transit subsidy of $130 a month, well below the maximum amount of $255 allowed. But after Local 476 demanded to negotiate on the issue twice, HUD announced the agency would increase the subsidy to the maximum amount of $255 staring May 1, 2016. It later made the increase retroactive back to Jan. 1, 2016.
Even though HUD did not acknowledge their efforts in either of its announcements in an attempt to appear it did it on its own, this wouldn’t have happened without pressure from Local 476 members.
“AFGE is proud to be advocating for you, both in the workplace and on Capitol Hill, and we are pleased to share this victory with you,” AFGE Local President Ashaki Robinson Johns told AFGE members.
The increase is well deserved considering years of pay freezes and other cuts. Many employees don’t make a whole lot. About 600,000 federal employees earn less than $50,000 per year, and about 900,000 make under $60,000 per year, according to the most recent data from the Office of Personnel Management.
While working people are trying to make ends meet, Congress wants to continue to give away tax cuts and subsidies to the rich and corporations.
Good news is, you can do something about it. Visit www.afge.org and join our campaign for fair wages and benefits.