J. David Cox is president of the American Federation of Government Empoloyees. (Colin Kelly / Federal Times)
President Obama and Congress should act to combat declining employee morale, according to the head of the largest federal union.
J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the combination of a more than two-year pay-scale freeze and deteriorating workplace conditions caused by budget cuts are taking a toll on the federal workforce.
His statement comes in response to an Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management that showed satisfaction with pay declining almost four percentage points from 2011 to 2012 and a total of seven points since 2010.
He said the survey shows that federal employees are less willing than before to recommend federal careers to others and are less passionate about their workplace than private-sector workers.
“These are the things that do not promote a well-trained and capable workforce,” Cox said in a news release.
The survey of more than 687,000 employees was the largest administered since it was launched in 2002, according to OPM.
Cox said Congress and the administration should not cut worker pay or benefits any further and that morale issues should be addressed through better relationships between agencies and employees.
“A positive labor-management relationship saves money that might otherwise be spent in litigation and appeals; improves employee morale; and uses time more effectively as frontline employees, their union representatives, and managers bring their ideas, expertise, and efforts together toward common goals,” Cox said.