The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 26, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012

Federal workforce continues to sacrifice

—  There is a lot of talk about the need for a balanced approach and shared sacrifice when it comes to addressing our nation’s fiscal deficit. But it seems one group is being asked to sacrifice repeatedly, the federal workforce.

Through a lengthy pay freeze and higher pension contributions, federal employees are contributing $103 billion over 10 years to address these serious problems. And although federal employees have faced such cuts three times over the past two years there is talk of returning to federal workers for still more contributions.

That is the wrong path.

In my capacity as president of Chapter 64 of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), I see the contributions of this workforce every day serving the public by helping the public with their tax questions and concerns.

My members serve the public throughout southern West Virginia, locally in Beckley and Sophia, as employees of the Internal Revenue Service, and they do so proudly as part of a union that represents more than 150,000 federal workers in 31 agencies and departments across the country.

These are middle-class working men and women who have committed their talents to the service of others. They were called on to do their share to deal with the nation’s economic situation, and they have done so. They face rising costs of health care, food, gas and college tuition just like other Americans. They should not be asked to do more while others do nothing.

Daniel O. Harbaugh

President, NTEU

Chapter 64 West Virginia