7/10/08: The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved a fiscal 2009 funding bill that would provide federal civilian employees with a 3.9 percent pay raise — a full percentage point higher than that proposed by the White House, and an amount in step with a 2009 military pay raise moving through Congress. The committee also approved fiscal 2009 funding of $938 million for the Securities and Exchange Commission -- $25 million more than the White House proposal.
Last month, in approving its version of the Financial Services bill, the House Appropriations Committee also voted to approve a 3.9 percent raise for civilian employees. President Kelley applauded the willingness of both House and Senate members to approve a competitive pay increase and to continue the long tradition of parity in military and civilian pay raises. The administration initially proposed only a 2.9 percent raise for civilian employees next year, and a 3.4 percent raise for those in the military. “Congressional support for a fair and reasonable pay raise is a clear message for the federal employees who perform the work of the American people every day that their efforts and commitment to excellence are recognized and appreciated,” said President Kelley.
The House Appropriations Committee also provided additional SEC funding for the coming fiscal year. That appropriation was for an additional $15 million, "at least half" of which was to be used to increase the merit pay budget at the SEC. The Senate Appropriations Committee's proposed increase of $25 million would be $10 million more than the House committee's, and the final amount of any increase will have to be worked out in conference. NTEU will continue to work hard to obtain the largest merit pay raise possible for this coming year.
In marking up its version of the fiscal 2009 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee joined its House counterpart in approving a one-year moratorium on new public-private competitions for federal work, and in moving to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from using appropriated funds to continue its costly private tax collection program.
“By its actions, the Senate Appropriations Committee not only recognizes the value of the federal workforce,” said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley, “it takes a major step toward reining in the runaway contracting of federal jobs to the private sector that has been a hallmark of this administration’s domestic agenda.”