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Are feds ho-hum about pay freeze?

Some people working for the General Services Administration in Denver didn’t seem too upset about losing their pay increase for the next two years, according to one report.

Based on several comments in a Denver Post story today, they might even be grateful and happy and ho-hum about losing out on more money, in light of President Barack Obama's decision to freeze pay raises for two years.

“I honestly want to see dialogue about the deficit. If this is what it takes, I’m happy,” said Robert Fortier, 36, a GSA program specialist at the Denver Federal Center.

“[A pay raise] usually helps me pay for the increase in my health benefits, but I guess not this year,” said Gloria Rue, 57, a customer-service assistant in GSA’s Client Solutions Division. The Post also said she doesn’t object to the pay freeze.

“Every time you get a raise, you spend it, [but] I think right now we are just grateful to have a job,” said Jonna Larson, a communications team leader for GSA at the center.

One employee doesn’t even think losing out a pay raises will affect his life too much, plus, he said, the freeze goes with the territory for people who voted for Obama.

“I voted for him and I support him,” said Chris James, 46, a geographic information systems specialist.

Meanwhile, their labor unions are upset and even a few are down-right angry. One union called the president's move a stunt, and another said it will take it up with Congress for to block the move.

Obama expects to save $2 billion for the rest of fiscal 2011 and roughly $3 billion in 2012. He projected as much as $60 billion in savings in the next decade. It’s all in the name of reducing the federal deficit. (How he reaches those savings figures.)

“These are times where all of us are called on to make some sacrifices. And I’m asking civil servants to do what they’ve always done — play their part,” Obama said in his announcement.

GSA employees — in Denver, at least — are ready and willing.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Nov 30, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Reader Comments

Thu, Dec 9, 2010 John M.

If we have to make this contribtion to the government as a whole so be it. My concern is that we still only refer to the Executive Branch of Government and not mention the Legislature or Judiciary. If any government employee is to participate in this endevor ALL government employees should, including the Congress and Federal Judges and their staff. One Team, One Fight.

Sun, Dec 5, 2010

I have been a civilian employee since 1981 and during that time I have seen the civilian sector have to give, give and give again. Every time money is needed to bail out the government, the civilian employees’ salaries are the first to take the hit. This pay freeze is just one more time. Freezing our pay may help the government make up differences in the deficit but in the long run it will ultimately hurt the economy. We civilians are one of the most stable groups when it comes to spending power; however, that will change as a result of this pay freeze. We are already faced with the fact that our medical benefits are going to cost a lot more due to recent changes which will reduce our spending power. Now the freeze will reduce our spending power that much more. I am not 100% against the freeze … I just think that if we are asked “…to do what they’ve always done — play their part,” that the military sector should also be asked to step up to the plate. Everyone talks about the inequality between civilian pay and military pay; however, when you factor in all of the benefits that the military get (including salary, clothing allowances, housing allowances, medical benefits, educational benefits, so on and so on) the military “pay” is more than comparable to the civilian pay. I feel that military pay, too, should be frozen for this same period of time with adjustments made only for those individuals serving in war zones and then only during the time they are actually deployed.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 Mindy

I have been working as a federal employee for 6 years. After all of the taxes that we already give to goverment assistance programs such as welfare. We give the most! and now with the new healthcare plan we will be paying even more. Enuff is Enuff. Everyone I work with is angry about this freeze. Not Ho-hum at all! Tired of socialism. I was not brought up in a rich family and have had obstacles in my life. But I made it where I am through hard work and will power. Give government employees more money so we can support these small bussinesses. When you start taking money from the people who work you kill the economy even more.

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