With President Obama safely re-elected to a second term, federal workers feel comfortable to make their demands known. As debate rages over lowering the federal deficit, they want a pay raise.

As CNN’s Money magazine reports:

[Union president Colleen M.] Kelley said her No. 1 issue right now is getting federal worker salaries unfrozen on Jan. 1, even if that means working out a deal later in the year and making pay hikes retroactive to Jan. 1.

In the midst of that, federal workers are also nervous about the fiscal cliff , which includes $1.2 trillion worth of spending cuts over a decade if Congress fails to act by Jan. 1. Some 277,000 workers — 14% of the federal work force — could lose their jobs in the next 12 months if the U.S. cannot avoid the cliff, according to a study by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.

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