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House and Senate lawmakers introduce pay-increase legislation

House and Senate lawmakers introduce pay-increase legislation

Last week, both the House and Senate introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act (H.R. 304 and S.164), which seeks to provide a 3.8 percent pay increase for non-postal federal employees in Fiscal Year 2016.

H.R. 304’s original co-sponsors include:

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) Rep. C.A. Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) Del. Eleanor Homes Norton (D-DC) Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)  
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)  

S. 164 was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

According to an analysis of Office of Personnel Management data by the Partnership for Public Service, attrition in FY 2013 increased 34 percent FY fiscal 2009, a loss of 585,000 full-time employees in five years.

“The FAIR Act is a first step in honoring our commitment to public service, while addressing the alarming rate of attrition among Federal employees,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said. “No other group in our country has been demonized, demoralized and asked to sacrifice more than our federal workforce. They have been disparaged and belittled. This bill is a down payment on trying to help restore some of the losses that have been incurred by federal employees. They have endured a three-year wage freeze, four years without locality pay, higher retirement contributions for certain employees, wage-reducing work furloughs, cuts from sequestration, and a government shutdown.”

“We have continued to place an increasing burden on federal workers, who now represent the lowest percentage of the total American workforce in the three-quarters of a century that reliable records have been kept,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said. “The knowledge, expertise, skill and commitment of our public sector workforce are some of this country’s greatest assets. No other nation can match our public workforce’s professionalism and level of accomplishment. Yet all too often, public servants are disparaged, denigrated and forced to bear the brunt of deficit reduction. We need to strengthen and encourage our public workforce. In Maryland and across the nation, these public servants deserve recognition and thanks for their hard work and dedication.”

The law would not apply to Postal Service employees since the pay of letter carriers and postal workers in the other crafts is set through collective bargaining. Nonetheless, the NALC joined the Federal Postal Coalition in sending a letter of support to the House and an identical letter of support to the Senate to voice support for the bills.