3/28/14: Legislation (H.R. 4306) was introduced in the House this week by Representatives Gerry Connolly (Va.), Jim Moran (Va.) and Elijah Cummings (Md.) that would provide federal employees with a 3.3% pay increase effective January 2015. NTEU proposed the 3.3% increase several months ago and strongly supports the bill.
As you know, federal employees endured three years of a pay freeze before the meager 1% increase that went into effect this past January. Due to the union's compensation contract at the SEC, this 1% increase was also applied to SEC employees. SEC management has not yet responded, however, to the union's offer regarding the merit salary increase related to employees' performance during the rating year that ended on September 30, 2013, approximately a half a year ago. This increase was supposed to occur in January. NTEU has requested assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service regarding SEC management's refusal, thus far, to provide this merit increase.
During the period of the pay freeze, private sector wages have increased an average of 6.5%. It is time to begin to get federal salaries back on track, which is why NTEU is highly supportive of H.R. 4306. And it is also time for SEC management to make important improvements to its human capital policies, including by returning to a regular, recurring schedule with respect to merit increases. With the agency's continuing low marks on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, and in light of increasing competition to recruit the most talented financial sector personnel to meet the SEC's important mission, a continuation of the SEC's failed human capital policies of the past several years will erode our mission readiness.
It will be a difficult battle to get Congress to approve more than the 1% increase proposed by the Obama Admininstration. Some in Congress are even pushing for another freeze in 2015. We will keep you posted on these important compensation issues as they continue to unfold.