Like other Americans, feds are enduring a sustained rise in consumer prices. Pay raises have simply not kept up. Proposed legislation would go a long way toward easing the hurt imposed by inflation—but not until 2023.
Feds—and the public at large—are suffering under not only the omicron wave, but a painful and ongoing rise in consumer prices. A new bill on Capitol Hill, if passed, would help feds a year from now in their struggles with inflation.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) are co-sponsoring the legislation, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act. If passed, federal employees would receive a 5.1% pay raise—including locality pay adjustments—in 2023.
Last year, feds got only a 1% bump. This year, feds are receiving a 2.7% increase. So, the prospect of the far more substantial rise found in the Connolly/Schatz bill—though its impact would be far in the future—is being welcomed by federal employee unions.
“We commend the Senators and Representatives who have come together to fight for a fair pay increase that will help federal workers in every state pay their bills, save for their children’s education and plan for a secure retirement,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said.
NTEU, drawing on the current rate of inflation and a scale known as the Employee Cost Index, stated that next year’s pay raise will have to come to at least 4.1%—as required under calculations determined by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990.
The organization also reminded members and other feds that the Federal Salary Council’s most recent reporting shows that feds make about 23% less than their counterparts in the private sector.
The legislation is also supported by other unions such as the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), as well as federal employee advocacy organizations including the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).
Connolly and Schatz have attempted to gain higher pay raises for feds, having introduced the FAIR Act bill in years past.
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