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 Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and cosponsored by Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland, Patty Murray of Washington, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.
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.
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 Sen. Schatz, saying:
“AFGE thanks Sen. Schatz for his leadership and continued support for America's civil servants. As a longtime friend of AFGE members and supporter of civil servants, Sen. Schatz 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 Sen. Schatz for supporting America’s civil servants. We look forward to working with him in the Senate to ensure that the voice of federal employees is heard as we work together to close the pay gap.”