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Are feds ho-hum about pay freeze?

Some people working for the General Services Administration in Denver didn’t seem too upset about losing their pay increase for the next two years, according to one report.

Based on several comments in a Denver Post story today, they might even be grateful and happy and ho-hum about losing out on more money, in light of President Barack Obama's decision to freeze pay raises for two years.

“I honestly want to see dialogue about the deficit. If this is what it takes, I’m happy,” said Robert Fortier, 36, a GSA program specialist at the Denver Federal Center.

“[A pay raise] usually helps me pay for the increase in my health benefits, but I guess not this year,” said Gloria Rue, 57, a customer-service assistant in GSA’s Client Solutions Division. The Post also said she doesn’t object to the pay freeze.

“Every time you get a raise, you spend it, [but] I think right now we are just grateful to have a job,” said Jonna Larson, a communications team leader for GSA at the center.

One employee doesn’t even think losing out a pay raises will affect his life too much, plus, he said, the freeze goes with the territory for people who voted for Obama.

“I voted for him and I support him,” said Chris James, 46, a geographic information systems specialist.

Meanwhile, their labor unions are upset and even a few are down-right angry. One union called the president's move a stunt, and another said it will take it up with Congress for to block the move.

Obama expects to save $2 billion for the rest of fiscal 2011 and roughly $3 billion in 2012. He projected as much as $60 billion in savings in the next decade. It’s all in the name of reducing the federal deficit. (How he reaches those savings figures.)

“These are times where all of us are called on to make some sacrifices. And I’m asking civil servants to do what they’ve always done — play their part,” Obama said in his announcement.

GSA employees — in Denver, at least — are ready and willing.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Nov 30, 2010 at 9:03 AM


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