House Passes 3.5% Raise For Civilian Federal Workers

Hoyer Says Provisions Level Playing Field for Federal Employees, Including 55,000 in 5th Congressional District

WASHINGTON - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) applauded the inclusion of several provisions favorable to federal employees in the FY08 Financial Services Appropriations bill which passed the House of Representatives on Thursday. Included in the bill are: a 3.5 percent pay adjustment for civilian federal workers, the same amount provided for military personnel; a provision to restore fairness for federal employees to the OMB Circular A-76 privatization process; and language supporting Public Service Recognition Week, an annual event that helps raise awareness about public sector service.

"Every day, federal employees provide a myriad of vital services to millions of Americans," stated Hoyer. "The work that these men and women do is critically important, and their compensation and treatment in the workplace needs to fairly reflect that. I commend the House of Representatives for approving these provisions, which not only recognize the value of the federal workforce, but will no doubt strengthen the government's ability to recruit and retain the best and the brightest."

Hoyer says he has long championed both pay parity and the A-76 provision, and since the start of this year's appropriations process, has worked closely with the Washington-area delegation and House Appropriations Committee leaders to secure their approval.

Pay parity is the principle that civilian federal employees and military employees are provided with the same pay adjustment, and that adjustment must be sufficient to support efforts to recruit and retain the best employees. Last year, the adjustment for civilian federal employees was 2.2 percent, the lowest increase for civilian employees in nearly 20 years.

"The Washington-area delegation works hard every year to provide federal employees with a fair pay adjustment that follows the principle of pay parity, and I am pleased that our hard work has paid off again this year, particularly in light of last year's inadequate adjustment," stated Hoyer.

Rep. Hoyer also applauded the inclusion of a reform provision that will correct fundamental flaws in the current OMB Circular A-76 privatization process and guarantee a level playing field for federal employees competing to keep their jobs by requiring agencies to subject functions that are performed by 10 or more federal employees to public-private competitions before such work can be given to outside contractors. As part of such public-private competitions, federal employees will always be able to submit their best bids, and contractors will be required to at least promise savings sufficient to cover the costs of conducting privatization reviews.

"Simply put, this provision will eliminate waste and abuse in contracting and protect civil servants against politics and favoritism by doing away with a process that is manifestly unfair to federal employees and taxpayers alike," stated Hoyer.

At Hoyer's request, the House bill also includes language acknowledging Public Service Recognition Week, a program of the Public Employees Roundtable that highlights and recognizes the work of the more than 20 million public employees throughout the United States and educates American citizens about public service work. The House language urges the General Services Administration to support the mission of the Public Employees Roundtable and to provide $150,000 in administrative and logistical assistance to Public Service Recognition Week activities.

The House Financial Services Appropriations bill now awaits passage of the Senate's companion legislation. In the next stage of the appropriations process, a House-Senate conference will meet to reconcile the differences so one bill can be brought to both chambers for a final vote.

Source: Congressman Steny H. Hoyer's Office

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