Press Release

February 2, 2017
Cardin, Van Hollen Cosponsor Bill to Give Federal Workers a Raise

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have signed on as original cosponsors to the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, a bill that would provide federal employees with a 3.2 percent pay increase in 2018. The bill is designed to boost the pay of federal workers, who have endured $182 billion in cuts to pay and benefits through pay freezes, substandard pay raises, furloughs and increased pension contributions. Federal employees have sacrificed far more than their fair share. The FAIR Act was introduced this week with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i).

“The U.S. government cannot attract and maintain highly qualified personnel by continuing to undervalue the men and women who keep our borders secure, our food safe, care for our veterans, and search for cures to crippling diseases,” said Senator Cardin. “Time after time, these public servants have been called upon to do more with less, all while contributing far more than their fair share toward deficit reduction. The FAIR Act helps bring balance to federal workers’ pay, which is the least we owe them for all the hard, thankless work they do on behalf of the American people.” 

“Federal employees work every day to care for our veterans, provide Social Security benefits, keep our nation secure, perform lifesaving research, and conduct oversight of federal programs,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Despite their hard work, they have seen pay cuts, furloughs, and hiring freezes. This legislation will provide a raise at a time when we need to retain and attract a talented federal workforce, especially in the face increasing attacks against their important work.”

“Federal workers have families and pay the same bills as private sector workers, yet they remain underpaid by 35 percent compared to their colleagues in the private sector. The FAIR Act helps to close that gap and remain competitive in the job market,” said Randy Erwin, President of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

“The Federal-Postal Coalition proudly endorses the reintroduction of the FAIR Act. Plain and simple – dedicated public servants, who live and work in every community in this country, deserve a meaningful pay raise. In recent years, pay freezes, furloughs and sequestration have frozen federal employee wages while private sector wages continue to rise. A long overdue pay increase will help retain talent and allow federal employees’ pay to be better aligned with that of their private-sector counterparts,” said Kori Blalock Keller, Chair of the Federal-Postal Coalition.

The FAIR Act is supported by the National Treasury Employees Union, the American Federation of Government Employees, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, National Federation of Federal Employees, and the Federal-Postal Coalition.