WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees today congratulated Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania for introducing H.R. 2450, the Locality Pay Equity Act. AFGE also thanks and congratulates original cosponsors Tom Marino, Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah and Allison Schwartz, all of Pennsylvania.
The Locality Pay Equity Act would mean simple justice for the federal government’s blue-collar workforce. In numerous locations, the government treats hourly and salary workers who work in the same location as if they worked in different locations when it comes to calculating local pay rates. White-collar locality boundaries are drawn to encompass metropolitan labor markets, as defined by census data on commuting rates. Blue-collar locality boundaries are drawn according to the placement of military installations in the 1950s, long before federal white-collar workers were paid local differentials.
“No private employer that varies pay by locality draws different boundaries for salaried and hourly workers, and the federal government should follow suit. Treating salaried and hourly workers differently in this context is unfair and inefficient,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “It makes the blue-collar employees at military depots, federal prisons and VA hospitals feel like second-class citizens. And their paychecks validate this feeling every two weeks.”
Congress should pass the Locality Pay Equity Act immediately in order to bring equity to the treatment of the federal government’s blue-collar workforce, Cox said. There is simply no justification for continuing this disparate treatment.
“Federal workers in the skilled trades commute along the same routes and face the same living costs as their salaried coworkers. It is unconscionable that, once they arrive at work, their employer pretends they are in different locations,” Cox said.