Brown and Schatz Introduce Bill To Give Federal Workers A Raise

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, a bill that would provide federal employees with a 3.2 percent pay increase in 2018. The bill is a response to federal employees having lost more than a billion dollars in wages due to sequestration and a three-year freeze on federal pay. Original cosponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

“Ohioans working to make sure seniors get their social security checks on time or veterans can get in to see a doctor at the VA deserve a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work,” said Senator Brown. “Making sure Ohioans are paid fairly for the work they put in will help us attract the best possible talent to care for our veterans and seniors.”

“Federal workers in Hawai‘i and across the country have seen their earnings cut as a result of furloughs, sequestration, and a freeze on pay,” said Senator Schatz. “These are the hardworking public servants who do everything from delivering our mail to taking care of our veterans. This legislation would help give these workers the raise they deserve and help the government recruit and retain a top-quality workforce.” 

According to the American Federation of Government Employees, federal employees have endured $182 billion in cuts to pay, benefits, and salaries. Additionally, since 2011, federal pay has been adjusted by a total of 5.4 percent, leaving the inflation-adjusted value of federal wages and salaries lower than it was six years ago. Federal employees have sacrificed far more than their fair share and they deserve to be fairly compensated for the important work they do on behalf of our country.

“AFGE thanks Senator Schatz for his leadership and introducing the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, the FAIR Act.  Market pay for federal employees is a principle that we cannot allow to be lost in the current political battles on Capitol Hill.  A 3.2 percent pay increase brings us closer to market comparability and will help agencies recruit and retain the best possible federal workforce,” said J. David Cox, National President of AFGE.

“NTEU is grateful for Senator Schatz’s leadership in supporting fair pay for federal workers and taking steps to narrow the disparity between federal and private sector wage growth. It is critical to recognize that federal employees are skilled and dedicated civil servants and they deserve a fair pay raise,” said Tony Reardon, National President of NTEU.

“Federal workers have families and pay the same bills as private sector workers, yet they remain underpaid by 35 percent compared to their colleagues in the private sector.  The FAIR Act helps to close that gap and remain competitive in the job market,” said Randy Erwin, President of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

“The Federal-Postal Coalition proudly endorses the reintroduction of the FAIR Act. Plain and simple - dedicated public servants, who live and work in every community in this country, deserve a meaningful pay raise. In recent years, pay freezes, furloughs and sequestration have frozen federal employee wages while private sector wages continue to rise. A long overdue pay increase will help retain talent and allow federal employees’ pay to be better aligned with that of their private-sector counterparts,”
said Kori Blalock Keller, Chair of the Federal-Postal Coalition.

The FAIR Act is supported by the National Treasury Employees Union, the American Federation of Government Employees, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, National Federation of Federal Employees, and the Federal-Postal Coalition.