(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today applauded Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget, Rep. John M. Spratt (D-SC), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) for their leadership in including language in the fiscal year 2010 budget resolution to bring parity to civilian-military pay adjustments.
“Federal employees work diligently to provide public services, especially when our nation is in crisis,” said John Gage, AFGE national president. “As the demand for public services increases, the federal government must have the ability to retain and recruit the highest quality personnel. The language included in the FY2010 budget resolution honors the service of federal employees and gives the government the tools it needs to attract top talent.”
Congress recognized the need to achieve parity in compensation with the non-federal sector when it passed the Federal Employee Comparability Act of 1990. This legislation, passed nearly two decades ago, promised to achieve rough comparability with those in the non-federal sector by 2002. However, the pay gap calculated by the Department of Labor is still 23 percent, on average, nationwide. This gap in compensation serves as a significant obstacle for federal agencies in recruiting highly talented personnel.
For decades, AFGE has argued in the interest of parity in civilian-military pay adjustments to close the gap in market comparability. And, as the federal government moves to address the myriad of challenges facing our nation, federal employees will be called upon to meet the needs of the American people. “Federal civilian employees are cognizant of the extraordinary economic challenges our nation is facing,” said Gage, AFGE national president. “We are not seeking large pay increases; rather, we are asking Congress to continue the decades-long tradition of parity in civilian-military pay adjustments.
As Congress and the Obama administration work to restore the capacity of the federal government to carry out the important functions of its agencies and programs, it will be important to provide salaries adequate to attract the highest quality job applicants.