NFFE Praises House for Passing the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act
August 1, 2022
Washington, D.C. – The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) praises the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act (H.R. 5118) late Friday evening. Introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, the major natural resources package will boost investments for combatting wildfires, drought response, and disaster mitigation efforts.
“I am grateful that this broad legislation includes vital support for federal wildland firefighters,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “Although we have made significant progress towards delivering necessary workforce reforms, there is still much work to do. The provisions from the Tim’s Act included in this legislation would be another step in the right direction should the Senate pass the accompanying bill to H.R. 5118.”
Specifically, the sections from the Tim’s Act included in H.R. 5118 will establish a GS-6 starting wage with parity for federal firefighters, yearly adjustments, disability annuity, hazard pay, and seven days of mental health leave. Further, H.R. 5118 contains provisions of Tim’s Act which require a report to Congress comparing pay of federal wildland firefighters to their state and local colleagues.
“Thank you to Chairman Neguse, Leader Hoyer, and the broad cohort of legislators in the House who continue to raise awareness and provide much needed support for our federal wildland firefighters,” continued Erwin. “Congratulations on passing this monumental natural resources package that will help our heroes on the front lines of fires and natural disasters carry out their missions and protect our communities across the country. As wildfires continue to rage in the Western states and as more of the U.S. becomes vulnerable to dangerous wildfires, Congress must take action on this and other supportive measures immediately.”