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Kelley Says Union Will Seek Discussions With the Administration on Federal Pay

Thursday, February 26 2009

Washington, D.C.—The head of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees said she will seek discussions with the administration on the proposed federal pay raise and expressed disappointment that the budget does not reflect the long-standing tradition of parity in pay raises for federal civilian employees and members of the military.

The administration proposed a military pay raise of 2.9 percent for next year, and an increase of 2 percent for the federal civilian workforce.

“We understand that these are tough times, but we are very concerned about breaking the historic linkage of civilian and military pay parity,” said President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

“We want to find out why these pay raise numbers came out the way they did,” the NTEU leader further stated, “and what went into the analysis regarding pay parity. We also want to know what other proposals the administration will be pursuing this year that will affect federal workers.” She added that military and federal civilian employees work side by side in support of our nation’s security.

“I am also interested in starting a broader discussion with the White House on federal pay comparability with the private sector and the larger issues around federal pay that have historically been put on hold,” Kelley said.

The Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA), the law that was designed to close the public-private pay gap in stages over 10 years, has never been fully implemented. As a result, the pay gap between federal employees and their private-sector counterparts averages 23 percent.

“NTEU feels confident that the administration will engage in positive discussions with us on ensuring fair federal pay and benefits and the role they play in assisting the government in recruiting and retaining a high-quality federal workforce,” Kelley said.

As the largest independent federal union, NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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