Government affairs

Legislative Updates

FAIR Act would increase wages for federal employees

Since Fiscal Year 2011, the federal-postal community has lost more than $150 billion in the form of cuts to pay, benefits and salaries. New bills introduced in the House and Senate, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act (H.R. 4585 and S. 2699), would provide an increase in pay for federal employees for FY 2017.

H.R. 4585, which was introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) with 32 original co-sponsors, would provide a 3.9 percent statutory pay raise to federal workers plus 1.4 percent in lost locality pay starting in 2017, totaling a 5.3 percent pay increase.

“No other group has been asked to sacrifice more than our federal workforce, who have endured years of pay freezes, increased retirement contributions, no locality pay, sequestration cuts, and a government shutdown,” Connolly said. “This bill is a down payment on trying to help restore some of the losses that have been incurred by our dedicated federal employees, and I hope demonstrates we value their public service.”

In the Senate. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and original co-sponsors Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), introduced a companion bill that calls for a 5.3 percent pay increase in 2017.

“These are the dedicated public servants who do everything from delivering our mail to protecting our nation to maintaining our parks and taking care of our veterans,” Schatz said. “This legislation would help give these workers the raise they deserve and help the government recruit and retain a top-quality workforce.”

“For too long, federal employees have been undervalued and underappreciated,” Mikulski said. “Whenever deficit reduction comes up, their wages are the first to take a hit.”

Also introduced this Congress have been various proposals to provide pay raises for all federal employees, including postal employees, this year.

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