Cummings, Connolly and 31 Members of Congress Reintroduce the FAIR Act

February 24, 2016
Press Release
Updated legislation would provide federal workforce a 5.3% pay raise

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 23, 2015) – Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) joined Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and 31 Members of Congress to introduce legislation in the House to provide a 3.9% raise to federal workers plus 1.4% in lost locality pay. The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act (FAIR Act) would provide the pay hike to all federal employees, including locality pay, in 2017.
Original cosponsors of the bill are: Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Rep. John P. Sarbanes, Rep. John K. Delaney, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Rep. Matt Cartwright, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Brendan F. Boyle, Rep. Joyce Beatty, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Rep. Jerrold Nalder, Rep. Bill Keating, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Danny Davis.

Connolly introduced similar legislation last year that would have provided federal employees a 3.8% pay increase for fiscal year 2016. The updated FAIR Act would ensure that federal employees serving across the country, in all 50 States and on behalf of constituents residing in every congressional district, earn a pay increase of 3.9%, plus a competitive locality pay adjustment of 1.4%, for fiscal year 2017.
“Over the last six years, federal workers have seen a cumulative pay increase of just 3.3 percent,” said Congressman Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “President Obama’s suggested increase of 1.6 percent is good, but it is not enough. This bill will ensure that our federal workers are fairly compensated, and it will help our government recruit and retain a highly-skilled workforce.”

“No other group has been asked to sacrifice more than our federal workforce, who have endured years of pay freezes, increased retirement contributions, no locality pay, sequestration cuts, and a government shutdown,” said Congressman Gerald E. Connolly. “This bill is a down payment on trying to help restore some of the losses that have been incurred by our dedicated federal employees, and I hope demonstrates we value their public service.”

“I am proud to represent 62,000 federal workers who reside in Maryland’s Fifth District,” said Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “Our federal employees have faced furloughs and uncertainty because of a government shutdown, and they have contributed $138 billion toward deficit reduction. These employees deserve to be compensated fairly for the critical work they perform every day for our country. They deserve our gratitude, and I will continue to work on their behalf to make sure federal employees get the pay and benefits they have earned.”

“Federal employees have been the perennial punching bag for many of our colleagues despite the high quality of their work under unprecedented circumstances,” said Congresswoman Norton.  “Surely, it must be acknowledged that they have earned a pay raise as they have taken on much more work throughout these sequester years.  Years of cuts, which have even eaten into pensions, have left federal employees far behind their private sector counterparts.”

“The men and women of our federal workforce deserve a robust pay increase after years of eroding salaries,”
stated Congressman Bobby Scott.  “I commend Congressman Connolly for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with him and others to make sure our federal employees know that we value their work and dedication to our nation and its citizens.”

“Wages for civil servants lag far behind the private sector, and federal workers have made significant sacrifices in recent years,”
said Congressman Van Hollen. “We must pay our federal workers a competitive wage to attract and retain top talent to carry out essential government services. This bill will honor our civil servants’ commitment to public service by working toward providing them a fair pay raise.”

“The introduction of this legislation signifies an effort to push for a significant and real pay increase for our federal workers in calendar year 2017 that’s in sync with the 21st Century economy. I will continue to stand with our federal workforce, our retirees, and the federal employee unions who remain committed every day to serving and protecting the American public,”
said Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards.

“Americans want the best and brightest to serve our country,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “But if Republicans in Congress continue to denigrate public service and reduce the pay and benefits of our federal workers, then we will have a difficult time retaining and attracting top-talent to the public sector. That’s why I’m proud to co-sponsor the FAIR Act, which would reverse the recent indiscriminate and dangerous pay cuts to our federal workforce.”

“America’s federal employees keep our country safe, advance new frontiers in science and research, and serve taxpayers each day,” said Congressman John K. Delaney. “America doesn’t work without a high-performing federal workforce and that starts with making sure their pay is competitive and appropriate. I am proud to defend federal workers against misguided attacks and proud to stand with my colleagues in supporting a pay raise for federal employees.” 

“Our federal workers endured years of pay freezes, furloughs, retirement benefit cuts, and a government shutdown,” said Congressman Beyer.  “I am proud to again cosponsor this legislation to build on that success and commit to paying our civil servants for their vital contributions to millions of American families.”
The FAIR Act has been endorsed by the Federal-Postal Coalition, comprised of 31 national organizations representing 5 million federal and postal workers and retirees: American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME); American Foreign Service Association (AFSA); American Postal Workers Union (APWU); FAA Managers Association (FAAMA); Federal Managers Association (FMA); Federally Employed Women (FEW); International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW); International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE); Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA); National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE); National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA); National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys (NAAUSA); National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV); National Association of Government Employees (NAGE); National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC); National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS); National Association of Postmasters of the U.S.(NAPUS); National Council of Social Security Management Associations (NCSSMA); National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE); National League of Postmasters (NLP); National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU); National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRCLA); National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU); National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO); Organization of Professional Employees of the USDA (OPEDA); Patent Office Professional Association (POPA); Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS); Professional Managers Association (PMA); Senior Executives Association (SEA)

A PDF of the legislation can be found here.