(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today issued the following statement urging Congressional passage of the Reservists Pay Security Act of 2001 (H.R. 3337 and S. 1818):
“In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, many of the 120,000 reservists who are also federal employees have been called up to serve their nation in an even more important capacity. However, in too many cases, the active duty military salaries of these reservists are less than their federal employee salaries. This is unfair to these selfless Americans and their families and discourages others from emulating their commendable examples.
“Many enlightened businesses and local governments pay the differences between the active duty military salaries and regular salaries of their reservist employees who are mobilized. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the nation’s largest employer, the federal government, which should be the nation’s model employer.
“That’s why the Reservists Pay Security Act is so important. This legislation would provide economic security to the families of federal employees in the reserves by paying them the difference between their federal employee salaries and their active duty military salaries. Federal employees would no longer run the risk of being financially penalized merely because they joined the reserves. The legislation ensures that federal employees will play an even larger role in the reserves, which contributes towards improved readiness. And, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of this legislation is negligible.
“Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) are to be commended for their leadership in introducing this important legislation, which will ensure the continued active involvement of federal employees in the reserves.
“AFGE urges all lawmakers who respect the contributions of federal employee reservists and are determined to ensure our national security to support the Reservists Pay Security Act and see that it is enacted into law in short order.”