Pay Raise Passes House


9/24/08: Today the House of Representatives passed the 3.9 percent federal employee pay raise by 370 to 58. NTEU pushed for the inclusion of this raise in H.R. 2638, the legislative vehicle containing the fiscal year 2009 continuing resolution.

NTEU National President Colleen Kelley strongly applauded House approval of the continuing resolution (CR) with language providing an average 3.9 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees. “This action sends the right message to the women and men of the federal workforce—namely, that their continuing contributions to the well-being of our nation are recognized and appreciated,” said President Kelley. The House-passed CR would fund government agencies at fiscal 2008 levels through March 6 and would provide federal employees with an average 3.9 percent pay increase beginning in January.

President Kelley expressed her appreciation to the House, and particularly to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), for their efforts to include the pay language in the CR.

A civilian raise of 3.9 percent next year would be a full percentage point higher than the 2.9 percent proposed by the White House; further, it would continue the long tradition of parity in military and civilian pay increases. As is its custom, NTEU has been aggressively pursuing a higher raise for federal employees than the administration wants. The union succeeded in getting the 3.9 percent level in both House and Senate versions of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bills.

“Fair and reasonable pay continues to be an issue on the minds of federal workers,” President Kelley said. “For a long time, fair pay has been one of the principal determining factors in the public-private competition for high-quality workers, and that is going to prove increasingly important in coming years.”

The measure needs to pass both Houses of Congress this week. If passed by the Senate and enacted into law, the pay raise will go into effect on January 1, 2009.