Lawmakers issue appeal for higher federal pay, benefits

Washington area lawmakers sent a written appeal to President Bush Thursday, voicing their support for improving federal employee pay and benefits. The letter, signed by 11 lawmakers from Virginia and Maryland, lists pay as a major stumbling block for federal workers, who have "seen their benefits reduced in the name of deficit reduction." Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics bolstered the lawmakers' assertion that federal workers are not fairly compensated. According to the data, there is a 32 percent pay gap between civilian employees and their private sector counterparts. The lawmakers also blasted past administrations for not implementing the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA). Passed in 1990, FEPCA included a formula aimed at closing the gap between federal and private sector salaries over 10 years beginning in 1994. The Clinton administration used a loophole in the law to issue smaller raises each year because it believed that the FEPCA methodology is flawed and because it did not want to increase federal spending. "This lack of implementation is already impacting the government's ability to recruit and retain employees at a time when it can ill afford to do so," the letter said. President Bush is expected to project next year's civilian pay raise next month, as part of his fiscal 2002 budget. Last week, Bush pledged to increase military spending by $1.4 billion in order to fund a military pay raise in fiscal 2002. Depending on how the money is allocated, the pay raise could be anywhere from 4.6 percent to 7 percent. The legislators also cited their concern about the rising cost of federal health insurance premiums. The rates for 2001 climbed an average of 10.5 percent, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Premiums rose an average of 9.3 percent for the year 2000 and 1999 saw an increase of 9.5 percent. The letter mirrors the year's priorities for many federal employee unions, including the National Treasury Employees Union, the American Federation of Government Employees, the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association. Those signing the letter were Sens. George Allen, R-Va., John Warner, R-Va., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. and Paul S. Sarbanes, D-Md. and Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., Tom Davis, R-Va., Steny Hoyer, D-Md., James Moran, D-Va., Connie Morella, R-Md., Frank Wolf, R-Va. and Albert Wynn, D-Md.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.