NFFE Applauds Bipartisan Letter Urging Senate Leaders to Pass Wildland Firefighter Pay Cliff Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Dorsey
September 15, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) applauds a bipartisan Senate bloc for sending a letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging the Senate to pass S. 2272, the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act. If the legislation is not approved by Congress by September 30th, federal wildland firefighters will face a pay cliff and see their base pay cut by 50 percent, up to $20,000.
“To ensure the continued protection of communities and public lands across the United States, the bipartisan Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act was introduced to permanently increase wildland firefighter pay by establishing a new pay scale and additional pay supplement for wildland firefighters,” the letter reads. “Due to the dangers that wildfires pose to our forests and communities, a lack of action to ensure the fair treatment of our federal wildland firefighting workforce would jeopardize national security. Therefore, we request that you take all possible actions to ensure this critical legislation passes into law before the end of the fiscal year.”
“Thank you to Senators Sinema, Barrasso, Manchin, Daines, Padilla, Lummis, Tester, and Heinrich for your leadership on this issue at this critical time,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “We are approaching the 11th hour before our federal wildland firefighting workforce is decimated if Congress fails to act. This will lead to a mass exodus of highly skilled, professional federal wildland firefighters. The already woefully understaffed workforce will be crippled, leaving our country without the ability to response to not only dangerous megafires, but crises like hurricanes, floods, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies like rescue operations on federal lands. Congress must pass this legislation as soon as possible.”