The Dallas Morning News

Promises to government workers

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As president of Chapter 254 of the National Treasury Employees Union, I represent a group of middle-class Americans who are proud to work for the U.S. government but are concerned about some of the talk in Washington about budget cuts.

Many of us choose to work for the government because of the profession­al challenge and the opportunit­y to serve the public, sometimes at salaries lower than we could receive in the private sector, particular­ly for scientists, engineers and medical profession­als. Part of that decision was to work in exchange for a modest retirement provided by the fully funded and financiall­y sound Federal Employees Retirement System.

Since 2010, Congress has twice increased employee contributi­ons to the fund, essentiall­y cutting the take-home pay of federal employees. Those pensions are part of our employment contract with Congress and the American people we serve.

The members of NTEU Chapter 254 who work in the Food and Drug Administra­tion urge Congress to respect that contract and allow federal employees to retire with the security they have been promised. David Arvelo, Dallas

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