House panel backs 3.5 percent civil service pay raise

The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation Thursday that would provide equal pay adjustments for military and civilian federal employees in 2005.

The panel passed by a 42-16 vote an amendment to the fiscal 2005 Transportation-Treasury appropriations bill that would grant federal civilian employees - and blue-collar workers - the same 3.5 percent pay raise that military personnel will receive next year. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., joined with House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., and Reps. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Jim Moran, D-Va., to steer the measure through committee.

"Military personnel and federal civilian employees work side-by-side and for the same employer," Hoyer said after the amendment's passage. "Our nation is able to deploy our air, sea and land fleets safely and swiftly thanks to the muscle and logistical support of both federal civilian employees and military employees. So it is appropriate to provide them with equal pay adjustments. In addition, a fair pay adjustment is needed to keep pace with private-sector salaries so the federal government can compete for quality employees."

The move counteracts a push by President Bush and a bloc of House lawmakers, led by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., to provide a lower raise for civil servants than for uniformed military service members. Istook has said the government cannot afford the additional $2.2 billion that equal pay raises would cost. The president has said that ongoing military conflicts make uniformed personnel more deserving of a higher raise.

On Thursday, however, the pay parity measure received bipartisan support.

"Both the armed services and the federal civilian workforce are integral to fulfilling the role of government for the American taxpayer; both must be compensated accordingly," Davis said.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley, lauded the pay parity measure, saying, "It would help federal employees' paychecks keep pace with their counterparts in the private sector."

Last year Bush requested a 2 percent salary boost for white-collar federal employees and a 4.1 percent pay raise for military employees in his 2004 budget proposal. Congress overruled the president's request and granted 4.1 percent pay hikes to military and civilian federal workers.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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