Another Step Towards a 3.5% Pay Raise for 2008


5/3/07: Yesterday, the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee reported legislation to increase the military pay raise to 3.5 percent, one-half percent higher than the Administration’s budget requested. This measure, which was promoted by NTEU, passed with unanimous bipartisan support. It will be considered next week by the Full House Armed Services Committee.

As previously reported on this website (here), on March 20, 2007, NTEU President Colleen Kelley wrote to every member of the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel urging them to add one-half percent to the budget request. 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. As President Kelley told the subcommittee members, prior to 2007, both the military and federal workers received a pay raise that equaled the Employment Cost Index (ECI) plus one-half percent. For 2008, this amounts to a 3.5 percent raise for both groups if past precedent is followed.

While the military pay raise will need to be approved by the full Committee and also considered by the Defense Appropriations Committees in both the House and the Senate, this is a significant step forward. In recent years, pay parity has occurred between both the military and federal civilian work forces, and NTEU will continue to fight for the 3.5 percent level for our federal workers. When President Kelley testified before the Subcommittee on Financial Services of the House Appropriations Committee on March 6, 2007, she pointed out that federal employees are paid 13 percent less than their private sector counterparts. Enacting the 3.5 percent level will begin to close that pay gap.