Washington D.C. – Federal employees would see larger paychecks and many of their agencies, including the IRS, would have more resources under legislation approved today by the House.
The Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union, would provide a 2.6 percent raise across the board, plus 0.5 percent toward locality pay, for an average increase of 3.1 percent. The raise would equal what is currently proposed for members of the military.
“This legislation is a breakthrough for federal employees. It is a strong rebuke of the constant drumbeat of pay freezes proposed by this administration and a recognition that it is time to restore funding to government agencies that have been devastated by repeated budget cuts, especially the IRS,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “NTEU will now concentrate our efforts on urging the Senate to be as supportive of federal employees and pass this bill into law.”
The House-approved bill provides the IRS with $12 billion in fiscal year 2020, an increase of almost $700 million over FY 2019 levels.
“For an agency that has lost 23,000 full-time employees over the last nine years, the renewed investment is a welcome sign that Congress is ready to reverse the decline and rebuild the IRS’ workforce, enforcement activity, technology and customer service to even higher levels,” Reardon said.
Specifically, the legislation increases funding for IRS enforcement by $297 million, taxpayer services by $67 million, and business systems modernization by $140 million.
Two other provisions of the bill are also important to federal employees.
First, it would prohibit the dismantling of the Office of Personnel Management. NTEU opposes the attempt to eliminate the agency’s independent authority to ensure a non-partisan career civil service.
Second, it would ban agencies from implementing any collective bargaining agreement that was not mutually and voluntarily agreed to by all parties.
“By passing these provisions, Congress is going on record in support of maintaining OPM’s independence and ensuring that agencies bargain with their employees in good faith,” Reardon said. “These are both important steps for preserving our merit-based civil service system.”