Washington D.C. – Opposition to the administration’s federal pay freeze continues to build as Congress and the American people recognize that the men and women of the civil service deserve enough of an increase to at least keep pace with inflation, National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon said Tuesday.
“In the interest of maintaining an honest debate about federal pay, I’m here to remind the administration that federal employees are not a burden, they are the heart of our republic,” Reardon said. “They chose a career in public service, which means they don’t expect to get rich but they do expect to be able to pay their bills.”
Just before Labor Day, the president made official what his administration has been pushing all year: no raise for federal employees in 2019. Such a move would have ramifications in every city and state in the country as federal employees find it harder to keep up with the rising costs of housing, food, tuition and day care.
More than 80 percent of federal employees live and work outside the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, providing valuable government services to Americans from all walks of life.
“A healthy economy should be shared by all in the private and public sector,” Reardon said. “The civil servants who secure our nation, provide for the public health and protect consumers should not be left behind.”
Although the president hesitated last week when he said his pay freeze would get a “good, hard look,” the reality is that the issue now rests mostly with Congress.
NTEU and its congressional allies have worked all year to build support for a modest pay raise. As a result, the Senate is already on record supporting a 1.9 percent increase starting in January, and House members from both political parties are speaking out against the president’s freeze and in support of federal workers in their districts.
“There is already a precedent for a raise for federal employees this year: the military. Servicemembers will receive a 2.6 percent increase starting in January, and civilian employees also deserve an adjustment,” Reardon said. “We support those in Congress who are working to provide pay parity between civilian and military federal employees.”
NTEU continues to support legislation to give federal workers a 3 percent pay adjustment next year. The legislation, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, is H.R. 4775 and S. 2295.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.