11/29/07: The alternative pay plan issued by the White House this week calling for an average 3 percent federal pay raise for federal civilian employees in 2008 is disappointing and a disservice to the talented, dedicated and experienced federal employees who serve the public every day, said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley.
President Kelley said the administration’s pay proposal ignores bipartisan congressional action that would establish a 3.5 percent federal pay increase in 2008. To date, both the full House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committee have approved the 3.5 percent pay hike. NTEU has been advocating for the higher increase since the administration first called for only a 3 percent raise earlier this year.
“Each year federal workers have to fight for a higher pay raise than the administration wants to give and that is simply unacceptable,” President Kelley said. “Fortunately, a bipartisan majority of members of Congress understand the importance of the work of federal employees and the need for a fair and competitive pay raise. We are very optimistic that lawmakers will soon pass pending legislation incorporating a 3.5 percent pay raise next year for the federal civil service.”
The administration had gone on record opposing a 3.5 percent pay raise for both military and federal civilian employees, but the president recently signed a defense appropriations bill setting a 3.5 percent pay raise next year for the military.
NTEU has strongly supported the military pay raise and believes that all federal employees deserve the higher increase.
“When you consider all of the important contributions that civilian employees make each day to the federal workplace, a 3 percent salary increase is simply inadequate,” President Kelley said. “Pay is a critical factor in the government’s ability to recruit and retain skilled and talented employees.”
Under the White House plan, federal employees will be given a 2.5 percent raise in base pay in 2008, but would see only a 0.5 percent increase in locality pay. Locality pay is a geographic-based adjustment that is added to employees’ base pay under the General Schedule and is designed to help close the pay gap that exists between federal employees and private sector workers. According to the Federal Salary Council, that gap currently stands at an average of 23 percent.