A bipartisan group of 10 House lawmakers last week said federal employees should receive the same pay raise as the military next year. Last month, the House’s passed its version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that provided a 3% pay raise in 2021 for military service members.
But a draft of the House appropriation bill last week did not address the 2021 pay raise for federal employees. The lack of action could essentially endorse the Trump administration’s 1% increase in basic pay proposed last February.
“Included in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a 3.0 percentage pay increase for our service men and women.” the ten lawmakers wrote Friday in a letter to appropriations leadership in the House. “As in previous years, we support the biggest pay increase possible for our military members. We also want to note that with very few exceptions Congress has maintained pay parity with respect to pay raises for military and civilian federal employees. We write to ask that this pay parity continue –particularly in light of the continued work of our federal employees throughout a global pandemic.”
The House members also wrote:
“The federal civilian workforce is comprised of dedicated individuals who have demonstrated their critical value to this nation each day throughout this pandemic. During this global crisis, our federal government never shut down. Instead, its civilian workforce ramped up: delivering mail, providing healthcare to veterans, inspecting meat and poultry facilities, and researching cures for COVID-19. We should not take these dedicated employees for granted.
Throughout this Administration, federal civilian employees have been vilified. Public sector unions have been attacked.3Just last year these civilian employees endured the longest government shutdown in this nation’s history.4In January 2019, the House passed the bipartisan Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act.5And in the bipartisan funding deal reached last December, Congress once again provided for pay parity between our federal civilian employees and service members.6We feel strongly that federal employees have demonstrated they are invaluable to this nation and that they deserve parity with respect to pay increases provided by the federal government. The pay increase equates to less than one-tenth of one percent of the federal discretionary budget –spread across 12 appropriations bills. And Congress has historically maintained this pay parity. This year, in particular, our federal civilian workforce has served this nation at the time when services were most needed. Congress must step up and ensure that the federal workforce is treated with the respect it deserves.”
Those signing the letter were Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Don Beyer (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and David Trone (D-MD)
NARFE Disappointed House Appropriators Didn’t Include 2021 Federal Raise
“Federal workers continue to make outstanding contributions and sacrifices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many continue to face a greater risk of infection due to their civil jobs,” NARFE National President Ken Thomas said in a statement. “But House appropriators decided to ignore those contributions, look the other way, and defer their authority over federal pay to the president, risking a minimal pay increase or even a pay freeze for our nation’s dedicated public servants. It shows an unfortunate lack of respect for public service at time when we need that more than ever.”
“NARFE urges the subcommittee to reconsider its position…and further urges the full Appropriations Committee to provide federal employees with a meaningful raise if the subcommittee maintains its silence on this crucial matter,” Thomas said.