12/12/06: On December 9, 2006, the President signed into law, H.J. Res. 102, the Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2007 which will essentially keep the government running through February 15, 2007. Because the Republican-led Congress had not enacted nine of its eleven regular appropriations bills, including the Transportation/Treasury Appropriations bill which includes federal pay, it was necessary to clear this stop-gap measure to ensure that the federal government could continue to operate. Unfortunately, the CR did not address the area of federal employee pay. Therefore, the President’s November 30th recommendation which was sent to the Hill and calls for an average of only 2.2 percent pay raise (including locality pay) stands. Federal employees should expect to see this raise, effective the first full pay period in January.
The new Congress will need to revisit the fiscal year 2007 appropriations bills as well as begin work on the FY 2008 measures early next year. As pointed out in past stories on the progress of the pay raise, the House had passed and the Senate reported its Transportation/Treasury Appropriations bills with a 2.7 percent recommendation for federal pay. The new Congress could revisit the issue and restore the half percent that was in the earlier bills, and NTEU will be continuing to work for that result. Congress could do so retroactively — or it could simply address the issue for the future. While the scenario is uncertain, particularly since the DOD appropriations bill included only a 2.2 percent military pay raise, the lowest level in 18 years, you can be assured that NTEU will use every available opportunity to fight for a better pay raise for both.