AFGE's Gage fears federal pensions are next


John Gage, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, is worried that the proposed two-year federal pay freeze is just the beginning of the bad news for federal employees. In a video AFGE just posted, Gage said he will meet with the administration later this week, and “I’m expecting the other shoe to drop with something about our pensions coming up.”

Gage also uses the video to attack everything about the pay freeze, from the figures used to derive the expected savings, to Obama’s negotiating strategy, the assumption that federal employees should bear some of the recession’s burden, to USA Today’s coverage of the federal pay gap issue.

“This whole thing is a sham,” he said with regard to the savings estimations. But the sentiment carries through the entire 8-minute clip.

Gage said he will use this development as an opportunity to push back against the notion that federal employees are overpaid and have bloated pensions. “People don’t realize what a government worker is,” Gage said. “They don’t realize it’s a VA nurse, a Border Patrol agent, a Social Security claims representative, a mine inspector, and that’s what we have to do, like never before, is to get the American public to really focus on the services that the federal government, and federal workers and our members produce for them.”

But he’s still feeling pretty bleak about labor’s chances of fighting this: “I see no hope, really, of trying to get Congress to reverse this.”

After the jump, Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s “cotside chat” video on the pay freeze.


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  1. I feel sorry for the Federal employees that are going to be picked apart until the bone is exposed…with health insurance constantly going up every year—long term insurance going up like they weren’t supposed to –ever–
    Pay for Performance–that was a big laugh..
    Federal employees are in quick sand and its taking them down one day at a time…

  2. Pingback: AFGE IN THE NEWS: PAY FREEZE | Federal Wages at Work

  3. Federal Employees are not asking for sorrow but for Action. United We Stand and in the Unity is the force that move everything. I am asking Mr. Gage to stand up and call all AFGE union members to go and march in front of the White House so the president can see how many life he is affecting with his decision. AFGE cannot sitdown and wait for the time to pass because as Mr. Gage said the pension is next and then all the AFGE family will become homeless. It is time to ask for what the AFGE members deserve a better life, liberty and the pursue of happines as our constitution stated. We need our increase of living the same way companies belong to millionairs increase their prices for good and services. Stop “Modern Slavery”

  4. I am confused. Diidn’t the AFGE endorse this administration? Why did we endorse an administration that does not support us? It’s seems all politics to me and enough – enough.

  5. I have been an employee at the VA for 25 years, and during this time, I have contributed to my own retirement pension, which is called FERS(federal employee retirement system), is it NOT civil service and doesn’t pay retirement as well as civil service. I have also contributed to my 401 k. If anyone thinks that is because I am a fed employee I get all of this, think again..I used to work private sector had a retirement plan i was paying into at the time, 401 k’s weren’t around then, but if they were, I would have been paying into that as well. I feel that I am one of the few that knows social security is a supplement to retirement not a sole retirement, as it was first intended.
    Our fearless leaders in DC need to leave the federal employee’s retirements and investments alone. It’s bad enuf that they have to freeze our salaries for a few years because of their blatent mistakes.

  6. I also feel for the Federal worker. The average Federal Worker’s pay is just $38,000. Pay for Performance was a way for the government to save money. How it truly worked was to make one of your goals outside of your duties, one you can not meet. In the agency I work for NOT ONE PERSON recieved any more pay for a period of EIGHT YEARS. Imagine no pay raises for the past eight years. Now a pay freeze. The tax break for the ultra-rich that passed today, will add more taxes to the federal worker. Now they want to go after our 56% of regular pay pensions?

  7. My BIG question is – WHY is the pay of Senators and Representives inccreased significally and insurance payments taken care of while they freeze Federal Employees are being held subject to Frozen Pay, Increase in their medical insurance and possibily they might reduce retirement payment to retirees which is where I fit in???? I talked to a person that I knew when I still worked at Puget Sound VA – Seattle,Wa location and he said that they had released him from work. Sounds like they are trimming the personnel as well.
    On top of all the things that are happening to Federal Employees, which really upsets me, They did not give a COLA to Social Security recipients.
    All of the benefits are still in the hands of the Senators and Representives , and who knows who ever else in the Presidential, Cabinets, Branches of the service (the upper level) received increases in their pay and increased coverage for medical coverage. The persons in Congress that retired or lost the election are in a fantastic retirement position.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE ???????????????

  8. Well as a new federal worker it seems surreal now that half of the Congress is Republican that’s why all of a sudden more cuts are proposed

  9. I worked all my life for the Federal govt. under the Civil Service therefore I dont get social security. I also retired at 55 cause I had 38 years of service. Now my pension is frozen, I dont have age for Medicare, therefore I pay a private health insurance that has gone up, up, up. My home insurance up, therefore I cancelled it, cant afford it, cutting down on groceries, gas is up. Tried to get a part-time job, my mom had a stroke and must take care of her. I’ved been going to md for depression. what is next?? I dont know how much longer this would go on. What is our representatives doing for us??? It’s a shame that no one seems to care about us. “Help!!!!”

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