AFGE Pushes for Equal Locality Pay for Salaried, Hourly Workers

Categories: Pay, The Insider

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

Legislation to address the pay disparity was introduced both in the House and Senate on May 11 by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). It would equalize the local pay boundaries and prohibit having more than one local wage area within a pay locality. The legislation also ensures no employee will lose pay as a result of the changes.

This legislation is needed because 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.

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. 

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. 

The House bill, HR 3086, was introduced with one original cosponsor, Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.). The Senate bill, S 1561, has three original cosponsors: Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) 

Both Cartwright and Casey had introduced similar legislation in the previous Congress.

AFGE looks forward to working with lawmakers in the Senate and House to pass this much-needed legislative fix without delay. 

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