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Legislation Would End Wage Disparity for Hourly Federal Employees

by Ian Smith |

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) has introduced legislation that would potentially boost the salaries of hourly wage federal employees. It is being co-sponsored by Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), Bob Brady (D-PA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA).

The Locality Pay Equity Act (H.R. 2450) aims to solve a local labor market boundary issue that has resulted in wage computation disparity between wage scale or hourly employees and general schedule (GS) or salaried employees. The government treats hourly and salary employees who work in the same location as if they worked in different locations when it comes to calculating local pay rates.

At Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania for example, hourly employees are in the Rest of U.S. locality whereas General Schedule employees are in the New York City regional locality, giving them a 25% higher pay differential.

The legislation aims to correct this discrepancy when it arises. Even though the Pennsylvania Congressmen are sponsoring it to support constituents at Tobyhanna, it would apply nationally if signed into law.

“The current wage inconsistency at Tobyhanna is an issue in which I have been interested since last year; the current system is dated and does not take into account current regional considerations and statistics,” said Cartwright. “This legislation simply directs the Office of Personnel Management to fix this archaic system and level the playing field for all employees at Tobyhanna.”

He added, “Treating hourly wage employees as if they are in one local labor market for purposes of base pay and annual pay adjustments and salaried workers as if they are in a different local labor market for purposes of setting pay is inconsistent and inequitable. It violates basic standards of fairness.”

AFGE was quick to praise the legislation and encouraged Congress to pass it as quickly as possible.

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Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the founders of FedSmith.com. He writes about current topics that impact federal employees.

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April 17, 2014

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