Workforce

Connolly again backs big raise for feds

Gerry Connolly_2015 Eagle

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is pitching Congress on a big pay raise for federal workers.

Trying again to boost federal employee pay, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and 32 co-sponsors introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act Feb. 23.

The legislation would give federal workers a 3.9 percent raise and bump locality pay 1.4 percent for calendar year 2017.

"No other group has been asked to sacrifice more than our federal workforce, who have endured years of pay freezes, increased retirement contributions, no locality pay, sequestration cuts, and a government shutdown," Connolly said in a statement. "This bill is a down payment on trying to help restore some of the losses that have been incurred by our dedicated federal employees, and I hope demonstrates we value their public service."

Federal pay has lagged ever since President Barack Obama signed into law a two-year pay freeze in 2010. Connolly's previous attempt to seriously lift federal pay went nowhere.

In his 2017 budget request, Obama has asked for a more modest 1.6 percent increase in federal worker pay.

Many say government needs to offer more competitive salaries, perhaps through streamlined critical pay and other special authorities, in order to attract top cyber talent.

But with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) holding the speaker's gavel, any move to increase federal pay will face an uphill battle.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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