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(Washington, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today issued the following statement in response to the amendment approved by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury-Postal Service to provide a 4.1 percent pay raise in 2003 for federal civilian employees:
“Once again this Administration has tried to buck the long-established practice of parity between military and civilian salary adjustments and once again the House has supported pay parity, recognizing the importance of fair pay for everyone who serves our nation.
“This year federal white collar employees should have been enjoying 95 percent comparability with their private sector counterparts under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA). Instead, they still suffer from an average pay gap of 22 percent and only 42 percent of the gap has been closed.
“All Americans suffer when the federal government is unable to compete with the private sector, especially at a time when 50 percent of the federal work force will soon be eligible to retire.
“To attract and retain a work force that can deliver the high-quality services the public deserves and also address the human capital needs of the government, we must provide fair and equitable wages to all federal employees.
“Today’s House subcommittee action to support pay parity is an important part of the effort to make the government a competitive employer with the private sector. AFGE applauds Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) for their bipartisan support on federal pay.”