(Washington, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, Sr., National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today issued the following statement urging that the President stop dragging his feet and issue an executive order implementing the additional one percent pay increase for federal employees:
“President Bush has employed every delaying tactic in the book in his quest to shortchange federal employees on their salaries. After finally signing into law the 4.1 percent adjustment that Congress insisted on over Bush’s objections, he is now dragging his feet just because he can.
“So focused is he on eliminating taxes for multimillionaires, that he appears to have no appreciation for the toll his delaying tactics have on the hard-working Americans who make up the federal workforce, most of whom earn less per year than the targets of his tax cuts receive in dividends in a single month.
“The additional one percent in salary adjustment may be beneath this President’s regard, but 1.8 million federal employees need him to fulfill his responsibilities so that they can get on with their own responsibilities to their families, their landlords, their grocers, and their credit card companies.
“The Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA) calls for federal salaries to include both an ECI-based component and a locality component. The locality component is designed to recognize that in order for federal pay to achieve comparability with private sector pay, differences in local labor market rates should be reflected in federal salary adjustments. As such, the President should allocate the additional one percent provided in the FY 2003 omnibus bill to locality pay. And he should do so immediately, without further delay.”