NFFE Applauds Bipartisan Congressional Bloc Appeal for Wildland Firefighter Special Pay Rates and Staffing Problems
Washington, DC – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees is praising a bipartisan group of lawmakers who sent a letter requesting that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) establish special pay rates for federal wildland firefighters in order to address severe staffing shortages. With input from NFFE members, OPM is currently in the process of creating a new occupational series for wildland firefighters, as required by infrastructure provisions passed into law last year. The congressional letter insists that OPM use its authority in establishing the job series to alleviate staffing issues in the near term.
Additionally, NFFE is leading the effort to pass supplementary legislation this year to implement permanent solutions to problems that continue to burden the federal firefighting workforce such as pay, recruitment, retention, mental and physical wellness, working conditions, and more.
“NFFE is extremely grateful to have the backing of a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers for these issues,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “With continued support from the White House for federal wildland firefighters, we are confident that Congress and the Administration can finally address these serious problems with bold, permanent solutions. It is absolutely critical that we get this right, as NFFE members are already out on the fire lines across the country attempting to fight more severe fires with less resources and personnel.”
NFFE extends its thanks to Senators Sinema (D-AZ), Tester (D-MT), Padilla (D-CA), Feinstein (D-CA), Wyden (D-OR), Barrasso (R-WY), Daines (R-MT), Kelly (D-AZ), Crapo (R-ID), Romney (R-UT), Murkowski (R-AK), Rosen (D-NV), Lummis (R-WY), Risch (R-ID), and Heinrich (D-NM), as well as Representatives Porter (D-CA-45), Neguse (D-CO-2), Napolitano (D-CA-32), Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), O’Halleran (D-AZ-1), Kim (D-NJ-3), McNerney (D-CA-9), Lofgren (D-CA-19), Crow (D-CO-6), Cardenas (D-CA-29), Leger Fernandez (D-NM-3), Takano (D-CA-41), and Schrader (D-OR-5).