Federal workers would get a 3.3% pay increase under legislation proposed today by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
Connolly said that federal workers deserve a fair raise and notes that the impetus for his bill, known as the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, is that federal workers have been “demonized and demoralized by the constant attacks from the House majority and the Tea Party” and that their wages have lagged inflation and the private sector during the last four years.
Federal employee advocacy groups were quick to praise the proposed legislation. AFGE president J. David Cox said, “A 3.3 percent pay raise would help federal employees recoup some of that lost income and ensure the government is able to recruit and retain the high caliber workers that taxpayers expect.”
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) president Joseph A. Beaudoin added, “The 3.3 percent pay increase for federal employees would help to close the growing gap between public- and private-sector pay – now at 35 percent, according to the Federal Salary Council, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Meanwhile, private-sector wages have risen 6.5 percent in the past four years, and the cost of living increased 7 percent during that time. On top of that, new employees are now forced to pay 4.4 percent more toward retirement without any additional benefit.”
The bill will face an uphill battle in becoming law. Congress has shown a history for giving little to no pay increases for the federal workforce in recent years, and president Obama has proposed a 1% pay increase for federal employees in his 2015 budget.