Amid all the “Fiscal Cliff” debates an Executive Order came out lifting the pay freeze that has been on federal workers for two years now. This means that after two long years of no pay increases, federal workers are finally going to get a pay raise. How much are they going to get, you ask? A whopping .5%! Thats right less than one percent.
For easy numbers, lets say the average federal salary is $50,000. This .5% pay raise would add $250 spread out over the entire year. The drawback is that when the President raises the wages of federal workers, Congress also gets a pay raise. With this pay raise Congress will get a $900 pay raise.
I will be the first to say that Congress does not deserve a pay raise due to their lack of action, however the workers are way overdue in their pay raises.
Once again the US House wasted precious time on the floor to debate and vote on a bill to stop this .5% pay raise to all federal workers. The bill (which as I write this has yet to have text available to the public) is titled “To prevent the 2013 pay adjustment for Members of Congress and persons holding other offices or positions in the Federal Government from being made”. See how your Rep voted. This is a colosal waste time since the Senate will end up killing the bill. The leadership in the House could have used the time to pass the Hurricane Sandy Relief bill which has been waiting for a House vote for 66 days now.
Here is my suggestion. Senator Reid should take this bill from the house and amend it. Change the wording to say that CONGRESS should not get any raise this year. Then calculate the savings from removing the Congressional Representatives from the pay raise and give that to the workers instead.
Throughout yesterdays debate, every Representative said they would vote yes on a bill that would freeze Congressional Pay, yet no one has introduced that yet.
If the GOP in the House want to keep playing games with the budget, fine take it out of their pockets. The workers have not seen a raise in over two years and given back over $100 billion due to pay freezes. The most ridiculous part is that the federal workers are being lumped in with Congress and their inability to get anything done. Yet the House GOP member (Fitzpatrick) who proposed this legislation was quick to point out that he encourages raises for the Military, just not the people in the Department Of Defense.
“While I will continue to protect and preserve pay increases for the men and women in the United States military, we must reject this unnecessary and inappropriate raise for Congress, the Administration and the federal bureaucracy.”
Our federal workforce is made up of dedicated public servants who have been working harder and harder every year with no added compensation. They government is hiring less workers to replace outgoing employees and still the US House wants more.
Stop using the federal workers as fodder in you political battle.
Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message.
This has been reposted from NH Labor News.