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WASHINGTON — A group of House Democrats has introduced a bill that would give federal workers a 3.3 percent pay raise in 2015, far more than President Barack Obama has requested.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., introduced the bill, which was co-sponsored by several Democrats. The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act would provide the pay hike to all federal employees in calendar year 2015.
“Federal workers deserve to be compensated for the vital role they play in the lives of millions of Americans,” one co-sponsor, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said in a statement. “These are the men and women finding lifesaving cures at NIH, catching criminals, supporting our troops, and protecting the environment. They have bills to pay and families to support. After three years of pay freezes and too many furloughs, they’ve earned this modest, decent raise.”The bill does not cover military members.
Federal workers received a 1 percent pay raise in January, and the president has requested a 1 percent raise for 2015. Obama froze federal pay rates for two years starting in 2011, and Congress extended the hold through 2013, the Washington Post noted. Some federal workers received performance awards and higher compensation through promotions during that time.
“Federal employees have seen their standard of living deteriorate in recent years due to a three-year pay freeze, unpaid furloughs and higher retirement contributions for newer workers,” said J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union organization for federal workers. “A 3.3 percent pay raise would help federal employees recoup some of that lost income and ensure the government is able to recruit and retain the high caliber workers that taxpayers expect.”
The bill goes to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is the ranking member, and another co-sponsor of the bill. No date has been set for when it will be taken up.