East Hawaii News

Schatz Among Senators to Introduce Bill to Give Federal Workers A Raise

March 18, 2016, 9:18 AM HST
* Updated March 18, 9:17 AM
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United States Senator Brian Schatz. United State Senate photo.

United States Senator Brian Schatz. United State Senate photo.

Senator Brian Schatz, along with Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, introduced a bill on Friday that would provide federal employees with a 5.3 percent pay increase in 2017.

The Federal Adjustment of Income Rate Act is a response to federal employees having lost over a billion dollars in wages due to sequestration and a three-year freeze on federal pay, according to the Senators.

“Federal workers in Hawai‘i and across the country have seen their earnings decrease as a result of furloughs, sequestration, and a freeze on pay,” said Senator Schatz. “These are the dedicated public servants who do everything from delivering our mail to protecting our nation to maintaining our parks and taking care of our veterans. This legislation would help give these workers the raise they deserve and help the government recruit and retain a top-quality workforce.”

According to the American Federation of Government Employees, federal employees have endured $182 billion in cuts to pay, benefits, and salaries.

In 2014 and 2015, wages were raised by just 1 percent, which is almost half as much as recommended by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. Private industry wages have increased 10.6 percent on average over the last six years, according to Senator Scharz.

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“Federal employees paid more than their fair share to help dig us out of the Great Recession. Now that recovery is in full swing, it’s time to help employees make up some of that lost ground by providing a 5.3 percent catch-up adjustment,” said J. David Cox, Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “This adjustment will help employees catch up on their credit card bills, student loan debts, home repairs, and so many of the everyday costs facing today’s workers. We thank Senator Schatz for his leadership in advocating a much-needed boost for these hardworking families.”

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