NFFE Targets Leadership in Congress to Pass Wildland Firefighter Pay Cliff Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Dorsey
September 7, 2023
Washington, D.C. – As the deadline to avoid a severe pay cliff for federal wildland firefighters approaches, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is focusing on House and Senate leadership to pass critical legislation by the end of the month. If funding is not approved by Congress by September 30th, federal wildland firefighters will see their base pay cut by 50 percent, up to $20,000.
Union officials and wildland firefighters are meeting with members of Congress next week to lobby support for the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (WFPPA) and the Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act (Tim’s Act). Both pieces of legislation would permanently increase pay for federal wildland firefighters and help avert a wave of mass resignations within an already understaffed workforce.
Facing a potential government shutdown, Congress is saddled with several other significant political issues that have taken priority over increasing spending to protect wildland firefighter wages, such as aid for the war in Ukraine and natural disaster relief funding. With those spending concerns, as well as legislation to avoid the pay cliff for wildland firefighters, it is critical that House Republicans join their colleagues to approve additional funding.
“We are incredibly close to an absolute disaster for not only our wildland firefighters, but the country as a whole,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “If Congress allows this pay cliff to happen, the federal government will not have a workforce to protect our lands from the wildfire crisis. Communities will burn and people will die. NFFE and wildland firefighters across the country have worked tirelessly over the past year to have legislation introduced to avoid this catastrophe. Congressional leaders, especially House Republicans, must listen to their constituents and understand that their inaction on this issue will be devastating. Congress must pass a bill to avoid the pay cliff before it is too late.”