You and your co-workers are working a similar job at the same military base. So you’d think your pay rates are pretty much the same? Not if you work at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Currently, blue-collar workers on one side of the base are paid wages based on the New York City pay scale, while those on the other side of the base are paid wages based on the lower Philadelphia scale.
Absurd, we know. That’s why we had been trying to fix this wage inequity, and on Thursday, we succeeded. The Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Council, which AFGE is a member, voted to unify wages for these employees.
President J. David Cox Sr. thanks the council for the vote and urged a swift decision by OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert to implement the council’s recommendation.
“All of these employees work under one commander on the same joint base, so it is clearly unfair for some to be paid less than others based solely on outdated geographical distinctions,” Cox said.
The disparity resulted when the joint base was formed in October 2009 from the merger of McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix, and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. Wages for white-collar workers under the General Schedule pay system were unified when the base was consolidated, but not for blue-collar workers under the Wage Grade system.
Cox said AFGE will continue to press the Obama administration to align all federal locality boundaries so hourly and salaried employees who work in the same location are paid the same locality rate.