Anti-Federal Employee Attacks
(Updated Dec. 2019)
The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal includes several provisions that are aimed at balancing the federal budget on the backs of federal employees, including NATCA members. The Administration’s budget proposes to: (1) eliminate the Social Security annuity supplement; (2) increase federal employee FERS retirement contributions by 1% per year until the contributions reach 7.25%; (3) reduce CSRS cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) by 0.5% each year and eliminate COLAs for FERS for all current and future retirees; and (4) modify the CSRS and FERS annuity calculations to be based upon a high-5 years rather than the current high-3 years.
In May 2018, the Administration issued three Executive Orders (EOs) that negatively affect federal employees and their unions. These EOs would: (1) expedite the process for removing federal employees in performance-based adverse actions; (2) reduce the use of union official time government-wide; and (3) reduce the time it takes to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement and reduce the costs contained within them.
NATCA vigorously opposes these executive orders, anti-federal employee budget proposals, attacks on union official time, and all other legislation that would attack federal employee rights, wages, and benefits.
How This Issue Affects NATCA Members
The vast majority of attacks on federal employees have been the Administration’s and/or Congress’s attempts to balance the federal budget by cutting federal employees’ pay and benefits. No matter what the issue — elimination of annuity supplements, increased retirement contributions, changes from “high three” to “high five” calculations, and elimination or reduction of cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) — all would result in reduced take-home pay for federal employees during their working careers and during retirement and negatively affect workforce morale.
Most significantly, the elimination of the Social Security annuity supplement could cause a large wave of unanticipated retirements that would cripple the National Airspace System (NAS) by exacerbating the current staffing crisis. Finally, efforts to limit or eliminate official time and other collective bargaining rights, if enacted, would harm NATCA representatives’ ability to act effectively on behalf of its bargaining unit employees at the local, regional, and national levels.