NFFE Endorses Bill to Fix Locality Pay Disparities Among Federal Wage System Employees


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: 202-550-6987

November 16, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) applauds the introduction of the Locality Pay Equity Act, which would ensure that Federal Wage System (FWS) employees are included in locality pay increases that General Schedule (GS) workers receive at the same location. The legislation was introduced yesterday by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) following a NFFE letter urging Congress to reintroduce the bill.

“Under current policy, there are significant and unjust pay gaps between federal employees in the Federal Wage System and those on the General Schedule,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. The issue stems from outdated FWS wage area boundaries, which were mostly drawn shortly after World War II, reflecting the locations of military installations at the time. However, GS locality boundaries are up to date and more accurate according to commuting rates and other job market considerations.”

These pay gaps exist in workplaces like Letterkenny and Tobyhanna Army Depots, where GS employees fall under a full locality pay area while FWS workers are divided up, some receiving less than other employees within the same locality pay area. The legislation would alleviate pay inequity between FWS and GS employees by requiring the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to treat all employees working at the same locations equally. The bill better reflects the reality of trade jobs that have become more professional since the FWS was originally created decades ago.

“It is fundamentally unfair that federal employees working side-by-side, for the same employer, and in the same place, are paid differently when it comes to locality pay,” continued Erwin. “This issue affects many NFFE members and it creates problems with the recruitment and retention of FWS employees. It is time to end these pay inequities by guaranteeing pay parity with the Locality Pay Equity Act. Thank you to Senator Casey and Representative Cartwright for your leadership on this issue.”