AFGE-Backed Bill Introduced to Address Locality Pay Inequality

Categories: The Insider

Hourly and salaried workers working in the same locations would receive the same local pay rates if new legislation that AFGE supports became law.

Legislation to address the pay disparity was introduced last week by Pennsylvania lawmakers Matt Cartwright in the House and Bob Casey Jr. in the Senate. The Locality Pay Equity Act would equalize the local pay boundaries and prohibit having more than one local wage area within a pay locality. It also ensures no employee will lose pay as a result of the changes.

This legislation is needed because in numerous locations across the country, the government treats hourly and salaried workers who work in the same location as if they worked in different locations when it comes to calculating local pay rates.

Locality boundaries for salaried employees paid under the General Schedule encompass metropolitan labor markets and are updated frequently to reflect local commuting patterns. But local boundaries for hourly workers paid under the Wage Grade system were established mostly in the 1950s and are centered around military installations.

“Currently, salaried and hourly federal employees can work side-by-side in the exact same location yet be treated as though they work in different locations when it comes to determining their locality pay,” AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley said. “Federal employees in the skilled trades commute along the same routes and face the same living costs as their salaried coworkers, and there is no rational reason why the government pretends they are in different locations once they arrive at work.”

This pay inequity affects thousands of hourly employees across the country, including at Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeast Pennsylvania, Letterkenny Army Depot in southcentral Pennsylvania, and Tracy Army Depot in central California.

“Senator Casey and Congressman Cartwright have been fighting for many years to correct this disparate pay treatment, and we appreciate their tireless dedication to this issue,” Kelley said. “We look forward to working with them and all their colleagues to pass this common-sense legislation without delay.”

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