NFFE Calls on Congress to Pass Permanent Wildland Firefighter Pay Legislation Following FY24 Minibus


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: 202-550-6987

March 12, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is calling on Congressional leaders to bring the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (WFPPA) before the House and Senate as soon as possible. Last week, Congress approved a funding deal with strong bipartisan appropriations support to maintain current pay levels for federal wildland firefighters through the remainder of the fiscal year, ending September 30th.

“Now that Congress has safeguarded wildland firefighter pay until October, it is time to make those compensation levels permanent,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “NFFE members and firefighters across the country are fed up with seeing the can kicked down the road repeatedly. They are frustrated with the uncertainty that their pay could be cut in half, and they won’t be able to provide for their families. This uncertainty is taking its toll on the wildland fire workforce in terms of low recruiting and retention numbers.  We need a permanent fix for the pay cliff now.”

Since President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in late 2021, granting federal wildland firefighters a temporary pay increase, NFFE members have been advocating to make this supplemental pay permanent. The Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (WFPPA) is a permanent solution to the pay cliff, preventing an impending cut to wildland firefighter pay by 50% up to $20,000 per year.

“Congress has worked with our union to ensure that federal wildland firefighter pay is preserved in recent continuing resolutions and the final spending deal for fiscal year 2024,” continued Erwin. “Congress understands the need to support the brave women and men who are on the front lines of the wildfire crisis, which is sure to ramp up again this spring and summer. Our firefighters and the communities they protect need the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act to pass before fire season intensifies. NFFE is working with both Senate Leader Schumer and House Speaker Johnson, and we will continue to engage their offices until this bill lands on President Biden’s desk for signing.”