Today could have been the beginning of 2019’s second federal government shutdown. The historic and devastating 35-day federal shutdown which came to a temporary truce between Congress and the White House last month continues to have long-reaching and life-changing effects on federal workers and their families.
In December 2018, after hundreds of thousands of federal workers were either locked out of their jobs, or forced to work without pay, the White House signed an executive order freezing federal employee salaries for 2019. This was an added insult to injury. Recently, legislation was introduced to give federal employees a 3.6% raise in 2020.
Over the course of the shutdown federal workers were forced to make difficult and painful financial decisions: 62% of federal workers depleted all or most of their savings; 42% of federal workers took on more debt; and, 25% visited a food bank.
Failing to make federal workers whole as soon as possible, as the administration promised it would do, is yet another slap in the face to the hardworking women and men who were used as pawns during this deliberate shutdown.
“Federal employees and their families suffered greatly as a result of this shutdown, and the last thing they need right now is more confusion and chaos over getting all the back pay they are owed and dealing with any unpaid obligations,” President of the American Federation of Government Employees J. David Cox said. “Every day workers must deal with the lingering effects of this shutdown is another day of worry, stress, and distraction from their jobs.”
Additionally, Congress has yet to even authorize back pay for the thousands of federal contract workers who were also impacted by the government shutdown. And unless action is taken, federal contract works may never see the pay they lost.
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