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America   Federal employees earn a living wage and benefits

Federal government have nothing to apologize for, says American Federation

J. David Cox Sr.Criticizing the pay and benefits earned by federal government employees detracts from the real crisis facing tens of millions of private-sector workers who don't earn enough to live on and lack basic benefits like health insurance and retirement, says the head of the largest federal employee union.

"Federal employees earn a living wage and benefits – and that's nothing to apologize for," said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

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"I'm proud that the federal government provides affordable health care to the nurses who care for our veterans and a modest pension to the Border Patrol agents who risk their lives to keep drug runners and terrorists out of our country," Cox said.

"If more private-sector employers followed the government's model, millions more workers would make enough to care for themselves and their families, have access to affordable and quality health care, and be able to save for retirement.

"Instead, many full-time workers must rely on public assistance programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing just to survive – while corporate executives and shareholders earn record profits."

The average chief executive officer from private-sector companies on the S&P 500 Index was paid $13.1 million last year – 347 times more than the average rank-and-file worker, and a six percent increase from the previous year, according to a recent data analysis by the AFL-CIO.

The highest paid employee in the federal government earns $400,000 a year – and that's the president of the United States.

About 600,000 federal employees earn less than $50,000 per year, and about 900,000 federal employees make under $60,000 per year, according to the Office of Personnel Management.




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