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 former FCW staff writer.

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