Bill Would Give Blue Collar Feds an Across-the-Board Pay Raise, Too

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. Matt Rourke/AP

Hourly federal employees would receive the same across-the-board pay raise as their salaried colleagues in January under legislation unveiled on Thursday.

A bipartisan bill introduced in the House would ensure the 1 percent pay increase General Schedule federal employees are on track to receive next year applies to Wage Grade workers as well. President Obama’s recommended 1 percent pay hike for civilian employees on the GS pay scale will take effect in January unless Congress specifically blocks it, which seems unlikely at this point. It will be the first annual cost-of-living adjustment for federal employees in three years.

The president has the authority to set pay raises under the GS scale, but not under the wage grade system. Lawmakers would have to pass separate legislation granting pay increases for blue-collar workers. Under the uniform wage grade pay system, employee pay must be the same for all federal workers with similar jobs and align with comparable private-sector jobs in the same area, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

“The inconsistency in wages between WG and GS employees is inequitable,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. “It hurts a group of Americans that can least afford a fourth year with no increase at all.” Several Republicans are co-sponsors of the bill.

More than 174,000 wage grade employees work for the Defense Department, which had to furlough hundreds of thousands of employees under sequestration, and briefly, during the government shutdown last month. The Veterans Affairs Department and Bureau of Prisons also employ many blue-collar workers.

The legislation was referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Cartwright in June introduced a bill to fix pay discrepancies between blue and white-collar federal workers caused by differences in the way the OPM classifies wage areas. That legislation is still in committee.

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.