Federal pay freeze: What do you think?


There’s a lot of strong emotions on display in the comments section of our main article on Obama’s proposed 2-year pay freeze. Sound off there, or in our Federal Times forum here. What do you think — is this a slap at federal workers that will kill productivity and hamstring recruitment and retention efforts? Or is this a tough pill that feds are going to have to swallow to help the nation get through an unprecedented fiscal crisis?

Or if you’d like to talk to me in more detail, send me an e-mail at slosey@federaltimes.com. We want to hear from you!


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  1. If country is in debt, we all should be willing to take a pay freeze. I have no problem with helping the country reduce the debt. Militaty retirees have gone two years without a COLA increase, we all should be willing. There are other areas in the Federal Govt., that can be cut or froozen other than FED Govt Employee pay.

  2. To get this country back to fiscal health, it will take a great deal of pain, spread all over, over a long period of time.

    It is not pleasant, but it could be a lot worse. Suck it up!

  3. I think as hard as federal employees work, their pay should not be frozen. Who do you think is keeping this economy going? It’s the people who have secure jobs and know they are getting raises who are buying the cars, houses and TV’s. I think it will hurt the economy.

    Why should the feds have to suffer for bad decisions made by others in the past? There are far better ways to cut waste in the government than cutting federal salaries.

  4. I’m in my third month as a federal employee and I love my job. Before that, I was long-term unemployed. I’m just getting back on my feet and swimming through debt, and my newly acquired salary will now be frozen for years.

    Am I being punk’d?

  5. Josh Rhoderick on

    He squanders our tax dollars away on a BS stimulas. Approves wasteful pork belly spending and now Federal employees have to pay for it. It’s not fair!

  6. Cost savings recouped from pay freeze = $2 billion.
    Cost to consolidate DHS into one facility at St. Elizabeths = $3.4 billion

    Hmm…scrap St. E’s, DHS gives back $2 billion to the Treasury, and everyone’s a little bit happier.

  7. It probably will hurt some federal employees; however, most will still receive within pay grade increases. Those who do not receive within pay grade increases are at the top of a pay scale and a pay freeze will not impact those people significantly.

    If federall employees and other retirees do not receive a pay increase, than those making over $250,000 should not have an extension of their tax cuts.

  8. Its really a sad day as millions of people voted for this man and now he uses us to cave in to Republicans. I dare ask anyone on this site,,,,,, what is 60 billion over 10 years and 2.5 billion saving when we are currently spending 100 billion or so a month in Aghanistan.

    We wasted our vote…….. He mismanaged the stimulus plan and federal budgets and he wants to contribute to a deficit that cannot be lowered on discretionary spending alone.

  9. The 1.4% we were supposed to get this year was almost a freeze anyway. It barely would have covered the increased cost in FEBH premiums for 2011. The real pain will come when the Republican “Tea Party” House attempts to reduce our retirement benefits when we can least aford the cost (i.e. lowered COLA formulas, higher copays to FERS, increased FEBH premimim shared costs, etc.) . We have’t seen the last or the worst of the “Screw the Federal Worker” campaign yet.

  10. I certainly don’t mind doing my share to address the massive financial deficit however, if the tax cuts for the wealthiest are carried forward after Jan 1, 2011, this will be a travesty

  11. Federal employees always have to “set the example” for
    a screwed up economy and debt reducing strategies.
    Remember the 80’s when the WEP and GPO were passed
    which reduces or eliminates a retired workers social security
    and surviving spoucial SS benefit. These laws were supposed to protect SS benefits for years. This did not
    happen and neither will cutting or freezing federal workers
    benefits or pay. Politicans love to make the federal worker
    an example to the public in order to make themselves look good and to get reelected.

  12. Norman A Solow on

    I am both a career federal employee and a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran.

    We were sold out by the president and the Democratic Party.

    Sad day and time for not just us feds but a sad day for those who voted for him.

    Obviously he is no friend of the federal workforce or the unemployed. and neither is the GOP.

    May not vote in 2012.

  13. This pay freeze amounts to nothing more than political public relations. This is no time for scapegoating. The American people didn’t vote to stick it to a VA nursing assistant making $28,000 a year or a border patrol agent earning $34,000 a year.“President Obama asks federal workers to share the sacrifice, but it’s unconscionable for him to attack the wages of federal working people while the millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street not only get their bailouts and astronomical bonuses; they also get their tax cuts,”

  14. Do the math ! The proposal is estimated to save $2billion in FY11 when the FY11 deficit is estimated to be $1.3 trillion. The proposal will reduce the FY11 deficit less than 1%. The current federal debt is over 13 trillion. This is nothing more than symbolic politics with no substance. Federal employees would acceept this and do thier part if there were concrete proposals to make a significant dent in the deficit. This is $2billion that federal employees won’t spend sending thier kids to college, buying new cars or appliances and a myriad of other consumer goods.

  15. If I have to take a pay freeze as a federal employee then so be it. But the House, Senate and Executive service needs to share the same boat. And if we take a pay cut so should they.

  16. Federal employees should mean all federal employess to include Congress, the President and all others. By the way Congress shoyuld take a bigger hit because they helped to create this mess and have no earthly idea how to get us out of it. Now the people who have had secure jobs for years with everything going up but their saleries can start loosing their homes. Sad world we now live in.

  17. Federal pay freeze to help the deficit is a small price to pay when so many are out of work completely. Please continue working toward the benefit of the Nation…thanks President Obama for making a difficult decision that I truly support. By the way, I am a federal employee who too will endure the freeze.

  18. These groups want to freeze our pay and require us and fund 50% of our retirement. Do these clowns even realize that it takes 18 years for the average federal employee to get topped out in their pay grade. Are they aware that our employer doesn’t even offer us a subsidised dental plan. Or that our pension pays out about 50% less than our counterparts in other government agencies. Just wait until the economy turns around and they realize everyone jumped ship to the private sector or other public agencies.

    Make Congress and the Senate and Obama have freezes and pay cuts.
    Stop giving a blank check to DOD to stay in the wars. Not buying a few fancy “toys” will make little difference, but stopping the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will and all of the costs that go with them.
    Stop spending millions on PfP systems like DCIPS (over 60 million spent on that)that do nothing more than down salaries–just ask all of the employees-not the official line. Only ONE agency kept DCIPS. Is that worth it?

    I might not vote in 2012 either. I voted for a change for the better, not the same old stuff but worse.

  20. I’ve been working my ass off since 9/11…nights, weekends, long hours. Seems like Feds are taking the brunt here. Tax cuts for the wealthy stay in place. No impact to the hidden workforce, contractors. The 60% contractors who make up agencys workforces are already making more than their Fed counterparts and will continue to make more. Bitter over this.

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