WASHINGTON – After six years of budget cuts, pay freezes, and lost benefits, federal civil servants could receive a 3.2 percent pay raise in 2018 thanks to new legislation introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia.
The bill – the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act — comes on the heels of a 2.1 percent raise in 2017, after six years of sacrifices and lost wages.
The inflation-adjusted value of federal wages and salaries is lower today than it was at the start of the decade. And since 2010, Congress has enacted more than $182 billion in cuts to pay and benefits – which comes to a loss of $91,000 per employee.
Congressman Connolly stated that some lawmakers have made federal employees a scapegoat for all the country’s problems.
“[Federal employees] endured shutdowns and furloughs, attacks on pay and benefits, and an across-the-board hiring freeze. Their hard work was questioned. Now, thanks to the Armageddon Rule, even individual positions could be on the congressional chopping block. This is no way to treat a workforce. The FAIR Act is a matter of justice. Federal employees work hard, serve honorably, and they deserve fair compensation,” said Rep. Connolly.
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., who last year urged Congress for a 5.3 percent “catch-up” pay, applauded the proposed legislation from Rep. Connolly, saying:
“AFGE thanks Congressman Connolly for his leadership and continued support for America's civil servants. Rep. Connolly understands that federal workers have been forced to weather an economic downturn, a three-year pay freeze, unpaid furloughs, and a hiring freeze.
"Civil servants are constantly targeted by lawmakers as the problem, but they are what's right with our government. They are hard-working, middle class Americans who are an important pillar in our democracy. Many federal workers could make more money in the private sector, but instead choose to serve their nation.
“We thank Rep. Connolly for his support, and we look forward to working together to ensure that the FAIR act helps relieve the pay stagnation that federal employees have had to endure for too long."