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Legislative Updates

House Appropriations subcommittee approves FY20 FSGG bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) today approved by voice vote its fiscal year (FY) 2020 bill. The FY20 FSGG legislation has broad jurisdiction over agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, the Judiciary, the Small Businesses Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Of note to letter carriers, the bill preserves NALC’s long-standing language by stating, “that 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue at not less than the 1983 level.” The continued inclusion of this language in appropriations bills speaks to the good work done by letter carriers these past few years as well as in this cycle.

Additionally, in response to the extreme positions that multiple federal agencies’ have taken during recent labor contracts with federal employees, the FSGG bill includes language that halts funding for the implementation of such bad faith proposals. This language sends a message that the abuse by the President’s administration of the collective bargaining process will not be tolerated.

The bill hit out again at the President by specifically prohibiting funding to “reorganize or transfer any function of authority of the Office of Personnel Management to the General Services Administration or the Office of Management and Budget.” In June of last year, the Administration proposed merging many of the duties of the Office of Personnel Management with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA). As any such proposal would require legislative support, it was already unlikely to advance and with such prohibitive language approved by the subcommittee, the merger is likely dead for the foreseeable future.

Finally, of relevance to the federal community, House appropriators broke from positions held by the President and his administration by advancing language that would provide a 2.6 percent across-the-board pay raise with an additional 0.5 percent adjustment in locality pay, bringing an average 3.1 percent federal pay raise for civilian employees in 2020. Letter carriers and other postal employees would not be impacted by this raise as we bargain collectively over our pay, but this is significant as it would mark the highest increase in pay for federal employees in a decade.

The Senate FSGG Subcommittee has not yet introduced its version of the bill. Six-day and rural mail delivery language is likely to be included as it has been in recent years, but it is unclear if the pay raise will stay at the same level. Last year the Senate advanced a 1.9 percent pay raise, which wasn’t approved until after the 35-day government shutdown at the beginning of the year.

NALC will continue to monitor the progression of the FSGG bill and other appropriations legislation to keep letter carriers up to date.

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