WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve the fiscal 2020 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act:
“The House voted yesterday to provide all federal employees with a 3.1% pay raise next year, which would be divided between a 2.6% across-the-board increase and an average 0.5% locality adjustment. This long-overdue increase would help federal employees recover from years of pay freezes and incremental adjustments that have failed to keep pace with inflation, and it would help agencies that are struggling to recruit and retain employees due to noncompetitive salaries that lag private-sector standards.
“Federal employees suffered terrible losses in the aftermath of the Great Recession – in terms of pay and retirement benefits. The economic recovery is in full swing and it’s long past time to begin to restore some of those losses. This 3.1% adjustment us a good start toward bringing federal wages and salaries back up toward pre-recession purchasing power.
“This pay raise is a critical investment in our government’s most valuable resource – its workers. It also maintains the decades-long principle of providing equal pay adjustments to the government’s civilian employees and service members.
“The House legislation also takes important steps to block the Trump administration from dismantling the Office of Personnel Management and politicizing the agency’s human resources policy functions. The final bill includes an amendment from Congressman Gerry Connolly that would prevent the administration from furloughing OPM employees or implementing a reduction in force, which the White House has threatened to do.
“In addition, the House bill also blocks the U.S. Department of Agriculture from relocating hundreds of employees from Washington to the Kansas City region. The department has given employees at the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture just 30 days to decide whether to move and is forcing employees to physically relocate by the end of September, even though it’s not even known yet which state the employees will ultimately be working in.
“Thank you to all the members of Congress who voted for this bill. We look forward to working with the Senate to get these provisions passed into law.”