Collective Action Leads to 1.9% Raise, Averts New Shutdown
We did it! The collective actions of union members, labor allies, and sympathetic lawmakers have averted another government shutdown.
Less than 48 hours before the government was scheduled to shut down again, the House and Senate passed a bill that funds a dozen agencies ranging from TSA to the FBI through Sep. 30, 2019. The bill also includes a 1.9% pay raise for federal employees this year. President Trump signed the bill into law Feb. 15.
The funding package averted another government shutdown that most members of Congress opposed, and federal employees dreaded. The last shutdown lasted 35 days, wreaked havoc on employees’ finances, and killed morale.
“For nearly two months, 800,000 federal employees and their families were used as pawns in a political battle that upended their lives, stunted local economies, and harmed everyone who depends on the services our federal workers deliver,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “Thanks to the collective actions of union members, labor allies, sympathetic lawmakers, and concerned citizens across the country, workers prevailed and prevented another government shutdown from occurring at midnight Feb 15.”
AFGE thanks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for leading us through this ordeal and for being staunch advocates for federal employees everywhere. We extend thanks to every member of the bipartisan conference committee who helped craft the budget language, and to every member of Congress who voted to keep our government open. We want to especially thank Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma for fighting to get federal workers a well-deserved pay raise.
“Federal workers will receive all the pay and leave they earned during the 35 days the government was shut down thanks to legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president last month,” Cox added. “Thank you to Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland for introducing this legislation, which also ensures that federal workers will be paid in the result of any future government shutdown.”
Join our union to prevent future government shutdowns
By standing together, AFGE members have a stronger voice when defending your pay, retirement and job security. Join AFGE and ask your coworkers to join AFGE today.
President Trump shut down large portions of the government Dec. 22 after refusing to back down from his demand that Congress give him $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Funding for several government agencies ran out as Trump refused to back a deal that would have kept the government running through Feb. 8, 2019 but would not have provided funding for a border wall.
Our union is urging Trump and Congress to come to an agreement, re-open our government, and pass long-term spending bills that include a 1.9% pay raise for federal employees in 2019.
“Federal employees want to go to work. They believe in their mission and want to provide quality services to the American people,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “But now, 420,000 of them will report to work on Monday and won’t get paid for it. More than 380,000 employees will be locked out of work without pay. This is the third shutdown of the year, and it’s no way to run our country.”
Failing to fund the government even for a day has real-world consequences. The 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days, cost American taxpayers $24 billion, and caused valuable work to grind to a halt. Hundreds of cancer patients, for example, were prevented from enrolling in NIH clinical trials. 6,300 children were denied access to Head Start programs for up to 9 days. 1,200 EPA site inspections were canceled. 1,400 OSHA inspections to prevent workplace fatalities and injuries were stopped.
“Every day that this shutdown continues, more Americans will begin to feel the effects as federal offices close their doors to the public, the government stops paying its bills, and hundreds of thousands of government workers no longer get paid,” Cox added.