House members urge pay parity, larger 2008 raise

Ten House members from the Washington area on Monday kicked off discussions over the 2008 federal pay raise by sending President Bush a letter calling for civilian-military parity.

The lawmakers asked Bush to incorporate the principle of pay parity in his fiscal 2008 budget request, scheduled to be released Feb. 5. The appeal was similar to those issued during past budget cycles, and noted that civilian federal employees and military members have received equal raises almost every year for the past two decades.

"As we fight the war on terrorism at home and abroad, both the armed services and the federal civilian workforce are integral to fulfilling the role of government for the American people," the members wrote. "An equal pay adjustment in 2008 will send the important message that the services civilians and military personnel provide to America every day are highly valued."

As in past years, the lawmakers said parity also is necessary to recruit and retain quality employees in the face of an upcoming retirement wave.

A 2004 law mandates military pay raises equal to the change in the Labor Department's annual Employment Cost Index for the private sector's wages. That change was 3 percent according to figures released in late October, making that the adjustment both the military and civilians would get in 2008 if pay parity is granted.

The president of one of the larger unions representing federal employees on Monday issued a statement supporting the call for pay parity and seeking an adequate raise. The 2.2 percent increase granted civilians and the military for 2007 was the smallest in 18 years, said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

"Fair pay is a crucial element in attracting and retaining the talented employees federal agencies require if they are going to meet the public's needs and expectations," Kelley said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., one of the lawmakers who signed Monday's letter, also expressed disappointment in this year's raise, adding he hopes Bush will request a big enough 2008 boost to make up for the "unacceptably low adjustment" and show "how vital the federal workforce is in protecting and advancing our nation's interests."

The other signatories of the letter were Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; and Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va.; James Moran, D-Va.; Frank Wolf, R-Va.; Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md.; John Sarbanes, D-Md.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; and Albert Wynn, D-Md.

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.