Workforce

Lawmakers propose 3.3% federal pay hike

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Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, whose House district is home to thousands of federal employees, is proposing a 3.3 percent pay hike for those workers in 2015.

With Republicans in control of the House, the measure stands virtually no chance of becoming law, but it provides a rhetorical launching pad for Connolly and other Democrats who accuse the GOP of demonizing federal workers.

"After a three-year wage freeze, wage-reducing work furloughs, sequester cuts and a government shutdown, our nation's dedicated federal employees deserve fair compensation," Connolly said in a statement on March 26 when he introduced legislation to enact the pay increase.

Studies disagree about how federal compensation stacks up against the private sector, but pay freezes and budget woes have certainly taken their toll on the federal workforce in the past few years. Federal workers received a 1 percent increase for 2014.

Two of the co-sponsors of Connolly's measure -- fellow Democrats Jim Moran of Virginia and Elijah Cummings of Maryland -- also represent D.C.-area districts.

"After three years of a pay freeze and too many furloughs, they've earned a modest, decent raise," Moran said.

About the Author

John Bicknell is a former executive editor of FCW, and the author of America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election That Transformed the Nation.

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