Armed Services Committee Votes for 3.5% Military Pay Raise


5/11/07: The Full Armed Services Committee unanimously accepted the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel to increase the military pay raise to 3.5 percent, one-half percent higher than the administration’s budget submission and reported its bill this week. This NTEU-promoted measure is good news for federal civil servants who have received pay parity with the military in recent years.

In addition, the committee passed an amendment to require that future military pay raises be based on the Employment Cost Index plus one half percent for the years 2009 through 2012. This formula was in law prior to its expiration last year. For 2008, this amounts to a 3.5 percent raise.

While the measure needs to pass on the floor of the House of Representatives, this is positive news for both military personnel and our federal civil employees who work to defend our homeland and enable the smooth operations of our government. Like federal civilian employees, the military faces a serious pay gap with private sector employees, and last year the 2.2 percent raise received by both groups was inordinately low. When NTEU President Colleen Kelley testified before the Subcommittee on Financial Services of the House Appropriations Committee on March 6, she pointed out that federal employees are paid 13 percent less than their private sector counterparts. Enacting the 3.5 percent level for them will begin to close that pay gap.

While our federal employee pay raise will be considered during markup of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee in the upcoming weeks, the developments on the Department of Defense Authorization bill is significant. NTEU will continue to fight for the same 3.5 percent pay raise for federal employees.