NTEU Supports Federal Pay Raise, Preservation of OPM

Press Release June 3, 2019

Washington D.C. – A 3.1 percent raise for federal employees and a ban on eliminating the Office of Personnel Management are just two of the favorable employee provisions in legislation expected to be approved tonight by a House subcommittee.

The National Treasury Employees Union urges swift passage of the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government bill, which also includes critical funding increases for the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other important agencies.

“NTEU and the federal employees we represent are relieved to see Congress take steps, once again, to reject the administration’s ill-advised pay freeze for middle-class, frontline workers,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “An average 3.1 percent adjustment for 2020, which would be in line with raises sought for military servicemembers, would help recruit and retain the highly skilled workers our government needs to serve taxpayers.”

The legislation also includes language to preserve the Office of Personnel Management and block the administration’s attempt to break it apart and move the policy office for the non-partisan civil service to the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President, and retirement and health care functions to the General Services Administration. NTEU opposes the proposal because OPM is an independent agency that enforces the civil service rules and regulations and should not be taken over by an unconfirmed political appointee.

“Attempts to justify the reorganization of OPM have fallen flat on Capitol Hill because Congress recognizes the value in maintaining a professional, nonpartisan office to oversee government-wide personnel policy,” Reardon said.

For the IRS, the proposal provides $12 billion for FY 2020, almost $700 million more than the current level, and $166 million above the administration’s request, which would help the agency recover from nearly a decade of budget cuts and the loss of more than 22,000 full-time employees. The increased funding, if approved, would go toward taxpayer services, enforcement and equipment modernization, all of which will make the IRS more efficient and effective.

NTEU also supports the proposed $175 million increase for the Securities and Exchange Commission; $85 million for improvements to the Calexico Port of Entry; and $248 million for the San Luis Port of Entry.

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.