Two Senate Democrats have proposed a bill that would give federal employees a 3.3-percent pay raise in 2015, matching a Democrat-sponsored House measure introduced in March.
Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) proposed the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) act on Friday, saying the legislation would help make up for the three-year pay freeze that ended in 2014, after President Obama ordered a 1 percent raise for federal workers.
“Our federal employees bore the brunt of the sequester, enduring furloughs and a three-year pay freeze,” Schatz, the bill’s sponsor, said in a joint statement with the measure’s supporters. “Our bill would give these working families a raise they deserve.”
Obama halted the annual pay increases for federal workers for two years starting in 2011, and Congress extended the hold through 2013, all while leaders in Washington were trying to reach a deal to trim federal deficits. Employees still received extra pay through promotions and performance awards during that time.
Labor groups have lined up in support of the Senate bill, saying federal workers have seen their standard of living deteriorate because of the pay freeze, the furloughs that some agencies used to achieve their target sequester cuts, and a recent increase in retirement contributions for new hires.
American Federation of Government Employees national president J. David Cox said the legislation 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.”
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