NTEU Offers Strong Support for Bipartisan Retroactive Pay Bill


4/8/11: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley today said NTEU is “strongly in support of” bipartisan legislation that would result in federal workers furloughed in a government shutdown receiving retroactive pay for the duration of their forced absence.

“The hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would be forced from their jobs through no fault of their own deserve this legislation, and NTEU will press hard for its enactment,” said President Kelley.

The measure is H.R. 1429, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, co-sponsored by Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.). All have many thousands of federal employees living and working in their districts.

“The title of this bill says it all,” said President Kelley. “We are well aware of the makeup and mood of this Congress, but this is about fairness.”

Furloughed government workers are in a non-pay status, and whether they get paid after a shutdown ends is up to the Congress. After the last government shutdown, in 1995-96, legislation was approved providing retroactive pay for furloughed employees.

H.R. 1429 comes on the heels of a letter from President Kelley yesterday to every member of the House and Senate, calling on them to ensure that furloughed employees receive their pay. As part of its effort in support of this legislation, NTEU called on its members around the country to press their elected representatives for approval of the measure.

The union encouraged members to underscore for Congress the reality that federal employees did not create the dilemma surrounding the inability of Congress to finish its work on a budget.

“The loss of pay will cause a tremendous hardship on federal employees and their families,” said President Kelley. “Federal employees are like all Americans. They struggle to deal with the rising cost of health care, housing and gas prices; they live paycheck to paycheck and worry about their financial future and that of their children.”