Legislation Introduced to Give Federal Workers a Raise

January 12, 2018, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated January 12, 10:54 AM
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Sen. Brian Schatz.

The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, was introduced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), is a bill that would provide federal employees with a three percent pay increase in 2019. Federal employees have lost more than a billion dollars in wages due to sequestration and a three-year freeze on federal pay. Original cosponsors of the Senate bill include U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i).

“Whether they manage fisheries for NOAA or keep travelers and our airports safe as part of the TSA, federal workers in every part of this country and around the world protect and serve the American people,” said Sen. Schatz. “This legislation allows us to right the wrongs from furloughs, sequestration, and pay freezes by giving these hardworking public servants the raise they deserve.”

“For too long Republicans in Congress have treated the federal workforce like a national piggy bank. They’ve endured three years of pay freezes, a government shutdown, sequestration cuts, furloughs, and a mindless across-the-board hiring freeze,” said Rep. Connolly. “And to make matters even worse, the President has treated federal employees like his own rhetorical punching bag – hurling insults and falsehoods. Yet, despite this increasingly challenging environment, our federal employees continue to serve with dedication and distinction every day. They deserve better. The FAIR Act is step towards recognizing their contributions and providing fair and just compensation.”

According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), federal employees have endured over $182 billion in cuts to pay, benefits, and salaries since 2011. Federal employees have sacrificed far more than their fair share and they deserve to be fairly compensated for the important work they do on behalf of our country.

“The legislation introduced by Sen. Schatz and Rep. Connolly – the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, or FAIR Act – would help prevent federal employees from falling further behind with a three percent pay adjustment in 2019,” said National President of AFGE David Cox. “The women and men who guard our borders, serve our veterans, inspect our food, and protect our planet are worth this modest investment.”


“Economic forecasters estimate that wages in the private sector will rise an average of three percent in 2018, so it is perfectly reasonable for federal employees to expect the same modest increase in their paychecks,” said National President of the National Treasury Employees Union Tony Reardon. “We applaud Senator Schatz and Representative Connolly for introducing legislation that treats federal employees with respect and recognizes their contributions to national security, economic growth and public health.”


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 and the National Federation of Federal Employees.

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