Washington D.C. – President Biden’s plan to increase investments in federal agencies and employees is a recognition that the U.S. government and its workforce play an essential role in the health, security and prosperity of the American people.
“The National Treasury Employees Union joins the White House in its belief that the federal government can accomplish great things if it is properly resourced,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “Today’s budget proposal is a statement of confidence in our nation’s public servants and the incredibly important work they do.”
The proposed fiscal year 2023 budget includes robust increases to agency operating budgets and an average 4.6 percent pay raise for federal employees.
“Unlike previous administrations, federal employees can open the pages of this budget proposal and feel like their work is not just appreciated, but valued enough to warrant additional funding, staffing and support,” Reardon said.
Many of the agencies where NTEU represents frontline workers would see robust increases in their operating budgets in Fiscal Year 2023 under the president’s proposal, including 28 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency; 27 percent at the Department of Health and Human Services; and 18 percent at the Internal Revenue Service.
At the IRS, where NTEU represents more than 62,000 employees, the White House is recommending Congress provide the agency with $1.5 billion more than what was enacted in FY 2022, which would help the agency claw back from 10 years of devastating cuts to funding and staffing levels. More specifically, taxpayer services would get an increase of $903 million, aimed directly at improving customer service for individuals and businesses that contact the IRS needing assistance meeting their tax obligations. There would be an additional $834 million for enforcement to help prevent fraud and catch those who try to cheat the system. NTEU also supports the additional $35 million for business systems modernization at the IRS, money that would immediately help employees become more efficient and effective in serving taxpayers and administering the tax code.
The budget also calls for additional funding to support Customs and Border Protection employees at the ports of entry with investments in modern border security technology. On the economic side, two critical regulatory agencies—the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—would receive additional funding to bring on more personnel while the Patent and Trademark Office would also see more funding to hire additional employees.
The White House proposal to give federal employees an average 4.6 percent pay increase in 2023 makes clear that this administration understands that improving salaries will help attract and retain highly skilled workers around the country, a sentiment that NTEU strongly supports. The budget notes that between 2009 and 2020, U.S. average worker pay rose by 38 percent while federal civilian pay increases amounted to only a 15 percent increase.
NTEU has already endorsed the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act (H.R. 6398 and S. 3518) calling for an average 5.1 percent pay adjustment for federal workers next year, consisting of a 4.1 percent across-the-board increase plus an average 1 percent for locality pay.
“The White House proposal is a great starting point in the debate over federal pay in 2023 and NTEU will encourage Congress to build on that to reach the 5.1 percent pay raise as called for in the FAIR Act,” Reardon said.
NTEU represents about 150,000 employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.