(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—“Federal employees are working side-by-side with our armed forces to fight the war on terrorism. Yet, President Bush continues to disregard the long-established tradition of pay parity between military and civilian workers,” said Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
AFGE applauds the House Budget Committee for passing an amendment by Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) to the House budget resolution which supports military and civilian pay parity.
In his budget proposal for 2003, President Bush recommended a 4.1 percent increase for military personnel, while seeking a mere 2.6 percent for federal employees. AFGE was successful last year in securing passage of pay parity language in both chambers.
“As our government seeks to resolve the human capital crisis and encourage the best and brightest to enter government service, stiffing federal workers on their pay takes us in exactly the wrong direction,” Harnage added.
Harnage points out that Bush’s insulting pay proposal not only flies in the face of pay parity, but also falls a half a percentage point short of the Employment Cost Index formula used in recent years to adjust federal pay.
“Despite OMB Daniels’ assurances that federal employees would think Bush’s pay proposal was fair, many government workers—on the frontlines of our national security defenses—don’t think it’s at all fair. Daniels and this Administration are out of touch and out of step,” Harnage stated.
“On behalf of the 600,000 government employees represented by AFGE, I want to thank Rep. Moran for his staunch support on federal pay and for the efforts of Reps. Davis (R-Va.), Morella (R-Md.), Hoyer (D-Md.) and Wolf (R-Va.) in urging bipartisan support for this resolution,” Harnage concluded.
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. Visit AFGE’s Web site—www.afge.org—to learn more about AFGE.