Future worries unions despite Obama win

Nov. 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Federal workers are glad President Obama won re-election, but are worried he won't rescind the two-year-long pay freeze, a union official says.

They are also worried about how many employees will lose their jobs as Congress and the president struggle to deal with the budget deficit, CNNMoney reported Friday.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said union members believe Obama "has stood with federal employees 90 percent of the time."

They had feared the election of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who during the campaign blamed federal workers as one of the causes of the deficit and talked of shrinking payrolls and cutting benefits.

Unions had supported Obama even though earlier this year he announced the pay freeze would be extended through March 2013, when workers would get a 0.5 percent increase.

While Kelley said she expects the Congress to attempt to cut federal pay and benefits, her primary issue now is getting salaries for federal workers unfrozen by Jan. 1.

If Congress fails to act on the deficit by Jan. 1, federal programs face $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, and 277,000 workers could lose their jobs in the next 12 months, the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University found in a study.

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