3/25/08: Last week, NTEU National President Colleen Kelley wrote to every member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel in support of a higher pay raise than the administration proposed. To see a copy of one of these letters, click here, Kelley Letter.
President Kelley lent support to the Military Coalition’s testimony in favor of a higher pay raise for military personnel than the Bush Administration requested and urged the subcommittee to provide a 3.9 percent pay raise, equal to the one NTEU proposed for federal employees. She urged the subcommittee to provide that level for which there is precedent in the Department of Defense Authorization Acts. For many years, with the exception of 2007, both the military and federal workers received a pay raise that equaled the annual increase in the Employment Cost Index plus ½ percent. For 2009, this amounts to a 3.9 percent raise for both groups, the level NTEU has advocated for federal employees.
President Kelley will be submitting testimony to the Subcommittee on Financial Services of the House Appropriations Committee soon, pointing out that federal employees are paid 23 percent less than their private sector counterparts. Funding the 2009 pay raise at the proposed figure of 2.9 percent will do nothing to close this gap which is the stated goal of the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, nor will the 3.4 percent request for the military close their pay gap. Both groups should receive a 3.9 percent raise. NTEU will continue to fight for this raise.