“As the new Congress is sworn in, the current House should add one fundamental issue to the many, including doing what it can to end the shutdown and restore lost pay to federal workers, that necessitate action. Congress should put politics aside and grant fair raises to federal workers. At a recent faculty meeting, my colleagues and I at RVCC issued a resolution to that effect and now is the time for implementation,” said business professor Pattiann Kletz, president of the faculty union.
Given the growing inequality in wealth in the United States which has been further exaggerated by the recently enacted tax bill, the continuing and growing inflation rates (now approaching nearly 3%), and the general wage stagnation following the Great Recession of 2008, we find the President’s recent decision to deny federal civilian workers a January scheduled pay raise of approximately 2% unacceptable. Even the scheduled raise of 2% causes Federal workers to fall further behind given current inflation rates. The President claims to be motivated by the need “to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course,” but he enthusiastically supported tax cuts which disproportionately benefited the wealthy and will substantially increase the federal deficit. This manufactured scarcity exposes President Trump’s decision as anti-worker and part of a growing trend to diminish the power of labor, especially organized labor, despite the fact that a federal judge recently affirmed labor rights of federal employees by blocking the President’s attempts to limit the power of federal employee unions. Therefore, we, the members of the Faculty Federation of Raritan Valley Community College (AFT Local #2375) oppose the denial of the pay increase for federal civilian workers and call upon Congress to override the President’s decision and provide federal workers the raise they deserve.