Federal Workers ‘Feel Unappreciated,’ Want More Time Off

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Federal employees have launched another effort to secure more time off for themselves, arguing that it would raise their morale.

In a petition started on the White House’s “We the People” page, federal workers asked the president to grant them Christmas Eve off as a paid holiday, so they can spend time with their families.

“We feel unappreciated with pay freezes and constant threats of government shutdowns. Being with our relatives is so important during this time and would mean everything,” the petition reads.

“Giving federal employees Thursday December 24th off paid, would go a long way in showing that we deserve nothing but the best for our daily contributions in serving the people and would show how much our accomplishments and dedication deserves.”

Federal workers launched a similar petition prior to Thanksgiving, asking for the Friday following the holiday off with pay. That petition struck a similar tone to the Christmas Eve request.

“Federal employees have suffered years of little to no cost of living increases in their pay along with the strain of threatened shutdowns and the loss of pay during those times. Morale is at an all-time low and a paid day off to spend with their families would go a long way towards making employees feel appreciated,” the petition stated.

That petition received just more than 7,000 signatures, but fell well short of the 100,000 needed to garner a response from President Barack Obama.

According to the blog, which covers the federal labor community, since 2008, federal workers have received an average annual pay raise of around 1.5 percent.

FedSmith also shows the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients, which is based on a pre-determined formula tied to the rate of inflation, is just slightly higher than federal pay raises.

Currently, federal employees receive 10 paid holidays each year.

As of Monday afternoon, the Christmas Eve petition has received 1,403 signatures.

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