(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Civilian federal employees deserve the same pay increase as the military (4.6 percent), says the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
The Bush Administration will propose a civilian pay adjustment on April 3. Officials indicated that they will recommend a deviation from the tradition of military-civilian parity by raising military pay by 4.6 percent and civilian pay by 3.6 percent.
In addition, the Administration has proposed making an extra $1.4 billion available only to the military for supplemental bonuses for recruitment, retention and relocation. Agencies throughout the federal government have asked for funding for these same tools for managing the civilian work force, but their requests have fallen on deaf ears.
“President Bush is attempting to play an early ‘April Fool’s’ joke on the civilian work force by not recognizing pay parity between the civilian and military work force,” said AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. “Federal employees and several members of Congress are certainly not laughing over this issue given the difficulty the government is having in recruiting and retaining the next generation of federal employees.”
AFGE is currently promoting a Resolution in the 107th Congress to ensure parity between civilian and military personnel. In the 106th Congress, an overwhelming majority of the U.S. Senate agreed and approved a bipartisan pay parity amendment on February 24, 1999, by a vote of 94 to 6 during consideration of S. 4 (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen’s and Marines Bill of Rights Act).
“Federal employees and military personnel work side-by-side for the same government,” said Harnage. “If President Bush really wants to help working Americans, he can start by recognizing the hard work of federal employees who deliver the services that the American public relies on day in and day out.”
AFGE is the largest federal employees union, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. Go to www.afge.org for more information on AFGE.