Federal workers make on average nearly twice as much as those in the private sector, but government employee unions want a pay increase more than three times larger than President Barack Obama proposed.

The American Federation Of Government Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, American Postal Workers’ Union and 20 other unions representing federal employees sent a letter to Congress seeking a 5.3 percent pay hike next year. Obama proposed a 1.6 percent increase.

Federal workers receive 78 percent more than private sector employees when benefits are factored in, according to an October 2015 study by the Cato Institute. That study used Bureau of Economic Analysis data to find the average federal employee earns about $119,000 annually, including salary and benefits, compared to the private sector average of $67,000.

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