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Schatz, Connolly Reintroduce Legislation To Give Federal Workers Pay Raise

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, a bill that would provide federal employees with an 8.7 percent pay increase in calendar year 2024. Schatz and Connolly previously introduced similar legislation in the 115th, 116th, and 117th Congresses.

For more than a decade, federal employees have endured government shutdowns, pay freezes, hiring freezes, and lost pay as a result of sequestration-related furloughs. More recently, they’ve spent years working tirelessly throughout a global pandemic in service to the American people. The FAIR Act’s wage adjustment restores years of lost wage increases for federal employees by ensuring that federal employees, who serve in all 50 states on behalf of constituents in every congressional district, earn an average pay increase of 8.7 percent.

“Whether inspecting our food, conducting medical research, or caring for our veterans, federal workers play an important role in our everyday lives and deserve pay which reflects that,” said Senator Schatz. “After years of pay freezes, our bill gives these dedicated public servants a much-deserved raise.”

“For years now, federal employees have risked their health and safety working on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Representative Connolly. “They were subjected to the Trump Administration’s cruel personal attacks, unsafe work environments, pay freezes, government shutdowns, sequestration cuts, furloughs, and mindless across-the-board hiring freezes. Still, our federal workforce serves with dedication and distinction every day. Federal employees are our government’s single greatest asset, and they deserve better. The FAIR Act is a critical step toward recognizing their contributions and providing fair and just compensation."

“The FAIR Act proposes a strong pay raise to counteract a tightening labor market and increasing private-sector pay, rising costs of living and an impending federal retirement wave. A strong pay increase in 2023 is critical to the recruitment and retention of an effective federal workforce, and we’re thankful to have Congressman Connolly’s support for this effort,” said William Shackelford, National President, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

“Federal fire fighters are always on the frontlines protecting our nation’s most important military installations, laboratories, and Veterans’ medical centers, yet the pay provided by the federal government fails to keep up with the pace of inflation and the salaries of state and municipal fire fighters.  Our federal fire fighters deserve a pay rate which recognizes the sacrifices and risks they undertake in the service to our country,” said Edward A. Kelly, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “I applaud Representatives Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) for introducing the Fair Act of 2023, a bill to keep the buying power of federal salaries from further shrinking due to the rising costs of living.”

“Federal workers and their families are struggling like all Americans trying to keep up with inflation and the rising cost of living. The 8.7% increase listed in the FAIR Act is not a pay raise.  It is the minimum increase needed to offset the dwindling checking accounts of public servants, and it is critical to recruiting and retaining the best possible workforce.  I thank Representative Connolly for his continuing support for federal families living in communities across the country.  The FAIR Act is as important for federal workers as it is for the communities in which they live,” said Randy Erwin, National President, National Federation of Federal Employees.

“Sen. Schatz and Rep. Connolly are exceptional advocates for our federal workforce because they understand how important it is that our nation’s civil servants are paid a fair wage,” said Tony Reardon, National President, National Treasury Employees Union. “The average 8.7 percent average raise they are proposing for 2024 will help federal employees keep up with rising costs, and help agencies recruit and retain the workers we need to keep the country running. The FAIR Act, as always, represents a thoughtful, analytical approach to federal pay levels, which is why TEU strongly supports this legislation.”

“Public service workers are on the front lines doing the jobs necessary to keep our communities running,” said Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We depend on them and they deliver – even in the face of pandemics, natural disasters and more. Their pay should honor the sacrifices they make and reflect the essential nature of their work. That is why AFSCME proudly endorses the FAIR Act and its 8.7% increase in federal salaries, and we commend Rep. Gerry Connolly and Sen. Brian Schatz for fighting for the public service workers who fight for us every day."

“On behalf of the 700,000 federal employees AFGE represents, I thank Congressman Connolly and Senator Schatz for their leadership on the issue of federal pay,” said Everett Kelley, National President, American Federation of Government Employees. “The latest report of the Federal Salary Council shows that federal worker pay lags behind the private sector by over 23 percent – making it difficult for agencies to recruit, hire, and retain top talent and hurting the quality of services Americans receive. The 8.7% pay increase included in the FAIR Act will not only reward federal employees’ hard work and help them keep pace with inflation, but it will also help government agencies remain competitive and deliver high-quality services to the American public. We wholeheartedly endorse this bill.”