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Persistent budget cuts hurt government, union head says

Feb. 26, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Colleen Kelley: Budget deal averting shutdown doesn't solve the problem of ongoing cuts.
Colleen Kelley: Budget deal averting shutdown doesn't solve the problem of ongoing cuts. (Gannett Government Media Corp)

The federal government is a structure with a weakening foundation that ongoing budget cuts are only making worse, according to Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union

She said Feb. 26 at the NTEU 2014 Legislative Conference in Washington the recently passed fiscal 2014 budget may have eliminated concerns about a shutdown, but continuing cuts in agency funding will harm federal employees and affect agency missions and priorities.

“We see hiring freezes, employees who leave are not replaced, buyouts, reductions in force, work not getting done, taxpayers not being served and revenue not being collected,” Kelley said.

The IRS has lost nearly $1 billion from its annual budget over the last four years and has lost about 10,000 employees, which has hurt its ability to assist taxpayers, she said.

“As a result, the very essence of our government is at risk,” Kelley said.

Kelley said NTEU priorities include ending sequestration, securing a higher pay raise for federal employees and protecting the current employee health benefit system.

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