House Committee Leaves Federal Employees High and Dry, Excludes Pay Adjustment in Funding Bill
The House Appropriations committee last week approved a version of the 2014 Financial Services and General Government funding bill that excluded any mention of a federal pay increase. Though the measure does not guarantee an extended freeze, it is nonetheless a bad omen for thousands of federal workers suffering through a third year of frozen pay.
The 2014 bill, which funds the Treasury Department, Judiciary branch, and several other independent agencies, is one of three funding measures passed by the House in recent months to exclude federal pay. Absent inclusion of an increase in one of the remaining appropriations bills, federal workers have only a handful of options to secure their well-deserved adjustment.
The Senate, which included a 1% pay increase in their FY14 budget proposal, could pass an increase into law and insist on its inclusion in a final appropriations measure approved after conferencing with the House. Alternatively, President Obama could mandate a federal pay increase on his own, but the funding would have to come from other programs within each agency since Congress would not have appropriated the funds specifically for the adjustment.
Given the experience of the last three years, however, few are keen to believe that either the President or the Senate will stick their necks out and fight for an increase.
“Three years of frozen pay is beyond any reasonable expectation of sacrifice,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “Federal workers work hard every day to support their agencies, their communities, and their families, but they have been hit the hardest by government cutbacks. We need our elected leaders in Washington to do what’s right and stand up for the pay increase they have earned.”
Unfortunately the House’s resistance to act on Federal pay is nothing new: the Republican-dominated branch has consistently shot down any attempt at increasing pay for Federal workers since 2011. President Obama requested a 0.5 percent increase in his FY 2013 budget proposal but was overruled by stiff opposition in Congress. With recent events suggesting the House will continue to draw the line on federal pay, it’s about time federal workers took the fight into their own hands.
Federal employees deserve better than what they’ve gotten from their government, and we need you to help. Visit the NFFE Legislative Action Center at www.nffe.org/takeaction, and learn what you can do to be a part of the solution.