U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), today denounced President Bush’s decision to reduce the pay raise of 1.8 million federal workers by .5% from 3.5% to 3%.
The 3.5% pay raise has strong, bipartisan support and Senator Cardin believes that Congress will overrule the President, “to ensure that federal workers have pay parity with members of the armed forces.”
The President recently signed a defense appropriations bill that provides for a 3.5% raise for the armed forces.
Congress has supported pay parity for federal civilian workers and the military for more than 20 years.
“Historically, Congress has strongly supported pay parity between our military and federal civilian sectors,” said Senator Cardin.
“Our federal civilian workforce has chosen to work in the public sector, often at great financial sacrifice compared to workers in the private sector and we need to acknowledge their contribution by ensuring they get fair and equal pay adjustments.”
Because of the higher cost of living in certain regions, locality pay is factored in to compensate federal workers in higher-cost areas.
Federal employees in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area will receive a 3.49% pay raise in January, which includes the locality adjustment.
However, the higher pay adjustment favored by Congress would result in a pay raise of 4.49% for Washington-Baltimore area federal employees in January.
“Unfortunately, we have witnessed another attempt by the Bush Administration to weaken the federal workforce by limiting their pay and their continued push to outsource federal jobs at a much higher cost to the taxpayer,” said Senator Cardin.
President Bush has opposed pay parity since becoming President in 2001. Congress has consistently overridden the President, giving equal pay adjustments to both civilian federal workers and the military.