NTEU Calls for Parity in Raises for Military, Federal Employees

Press Release November 9, 2017

Washington, D.C. – A proposal to give members of the Armed Services a 2.4 percent pay raise in 2018 should be expanded to include civilian federal employees, said National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon.

“The federal workforce, military and civilian, is made up of people who have dedicated their careers to public service and they all deserve a pay increase that at least tries to keep up with wage increases in the private sector,” Reardon said.

A new agreement among House and Senate leaders on a 2018 defense authorization bill includes a 2.4 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the military. This contrasts with the administration’s proposal for a 1.4 percent across-the-board increase for federal workers, plus an additional 0.5 percent average adjustment for locality pay rates.

“NTEU has a long history of advocating for pay parity for military and civilian workers, and we intend to pursue such parity again for 2018,” Reardon said.

NTEU successfully won parity for federal workers one year ago, resulting in 2.1 percent raises for military and non-military workers in 2017, up from the original 1.6 percent proposal for civilians.

“All across the country, Americans have witnessed a joint effort by the Pentagon and non-defense federal agencies to respond to the hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated millions of residents, showing that in times of crisis our civilian and military personnel often serve side-by-side in rescue and recovery missions,” Reardon said. “We commend all of our public servants for their commitment to national security, public safety and upholding their Constitutional oath.”

This year, the administration’s proposal is inadequate and does not keep up with what forecasters say will be an average 3 percent pay hike for private sector wages in 2018. Under the formula prescribed in the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, the federal pay raise should be the Employment Cost Index (ECI) figure minus a half percent. However, the administration’s plan is offering ECI minus one percent for the across-the-board portion of the raise.

Federal employees’ paychecks have still not caught up after several years of pay freezes and below-standard raises, and parity with the military raise is a step in the right direction. NTEU has also endorsed legislation giving federal workers a 3.2 percent hike in 2018.

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 31 federal agencies and departments.