Two lawmakers want to give federal workers a larger pay raise next year than they have seen in the last two years combined.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) are introducing legislation in both the House and Senate, respectively, that would give the federal workforce a 3.8% pay raise in 2016.
Known as the The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, the legislation is a duplicate of one Connolly introduced last March. At that time, however, he was proposing giving federal workers a 3.3% pay increase.
Schatz also introduced legislation last year to give federal employees a 3.3% raise. His bill was introduced in May and was the Senate version of what Connolly had introduced the House.
Neither of the bills advanced, but they were introduced largely as a statement in support of the federal workforce.
That could end up being the case again this year as a Republican controlled Congress is less likely to want to give out the larger pay increase to federal employees.
Federal employee unions were quick to praise the news of the proposed pay increase.
AFGE national president J. David Cox, Sr. said, “Federal employees have seen their standard of living deteriorate thanks to a three-year pay freeze, unpaid furloughs, and higher retirement contributions for newer workers. A 3.8 percent pay raise would help federal employees recover some of that lost income, and encourage high caliber workers to work for the government and provide the high quality work that taxpayers expect.”
National Federation of Federal Employees president William R. Dougan said, “NFFE strongly supports Congressman Connolly’s bill to provide federal employees a well-earned and much-needed 3.8 percent pay adjustment in 2016. In the past two years, Congress and the President have enacted woefully insufficient one percent pay adjustments that were preceded by three years of pay freezes. In the last five years, federal employees have lost a significant amount of buying power due to pay adjustments failing to keep up with basic inflation.”
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association president Richard G. Thissen added, “Federal employees had their pay frozen for three years and received only a 1 percent raise this year and last year. Meanwhile, private-sector wages have risen 8.3 percent in the past five years, and the cost of living increased 11 percent.”
Speaking on the proposed bill, Connolly said, “No other group in our country has been demonized, demoralized and asked to sacrifice more than our federal workforce. They have endured a three-year wage freeze, four years without locality pay, higher retirement contributions for certain employees, wage-reducing work furloughs, sequester cuts and a government shutdown. Enough is enough. It is time for Congress to provide the dedicated men and women of our federal workforce with fair compensation.”
Original cosponsors of the bill are: Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD); Elijah Cummings (D-MD); James Clyburn (D-SC); Jose Serrano (D-NY); Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Don Beyer (D-VA); Stephen Lynch (D-MA); Matt Cartwright (D-PA); Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU); Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX); Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); Eleanor Homes Norton (D-DC); Beto O’Rourke (D-TX); Mark Pocan (D-WI); Juan Vargas (D-CA); Alcee Hastings (D-FL); Bennie Thompson (D-MS); Alan Grayson (D-FL); Mark Takano (D-CA); John Delaney (D-MD); John Sarbanes (D-MD); C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD); Donna Edwards (D-MD); John Conyers (D-MI); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX); Corrine Brown (D-FL); Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and Robert Scott (D-VA).
We will continue to keep our users updated on the progress of this legislation or any other related news about a possible pay increase next year.