Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, discusses proposed cuts to federal benefits, and why they won’t help issues facing the federal workforce.
The 2020 budget request proposed many cuts to benefits and pay for the federal workforce. While the largest cuts are unlikely make it through to the final budget, they are still concerning to workforce advocates. Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, says that support for the federal workforce has never been higher. “There’s a sympathy right now for federal workers that we haven’t seen in the past. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone is jumping to give them additional benefits either,” Klement said. “So, yeah, we have a morale problem, we have a recruitment problem, I believe 8 percent of the federal workforce is under the age of 30. We have a problem, you don’t fix that recruitment problem by decreasing benefits and freezing federal pay.”