Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) today sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Clay Johnson III offering to discuss with the Bush Administration any alternative federal employee pay proposals. Representative Hoyer was the lead sponsor of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, which currently governs federal employee pay.
"If the past is any guide, the Bush Administration will not follow the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA) in proposing a fair pay adjustment for federal employees in his proposed 2006 Budget," said Hoyer. "Therefore, I have sent a letter today to the Bush Administration urging it to offer an alternative plan if it is going to continue to ignore current law.
"Any alternative must be fair to federal employees by valuing federal work in a manner that is equal to the private sector. Anything less will endanger the federal government's ability to recruit and retain quality federal employees to serve taxpayers. I look forward to working with the President on this and other issues important to federal employees in the coming year," concluded Hoyer.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Clay Johnson III
Deputy Director for Management
Office of Management and Budget
Washington, DC 20503
Dear Mr. Johnson:
The issue of annual compensation adjustments for the nation's 1.8 million Federal civilian employees is one on which the Bush administration and Congress have had conflicting views. If previous years are any indication, the Bush administration will propose a salary adjustment for Federal civilian employees in Fiscal Year 2006 that is substantially below what is mandated by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA), which President George H.W. Bush signed into law in 1990. Such a proposal in turn will lead me and a bipartisan coalition of House and Senate members to push for an overall salary adjustment that, while far short of what the law prescribes, equals that proposed for members of the uniformed services.
Every administration with which I have dealt since FEPCA was enacted has maintained that FEPCA does not accurately value the work of Federal civilian employees compared to the work performed by their private sector counterparts. My response has been to invite an alternative proposal that is believed to be more accurate. In the 14 years FEPCA has been the law, no alternative proposal has ever been advanced.
As I have discussed with you on at least two occasions, most recently on March 16, 2004, I am prepared to discuss the administration's objectives regarding "pay-for performance" and the implementation of FEPCA. Regrettably, your office has not followed up on my offer.
As debate on the administration's budget for Fiscal Year 2006 commences, I renew my offer to you.
I am certainly available to discuss this matter at any time.
With kindest regards, I am
STENY H. HOYER