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Roberson Lobbies Congress for Increase in Federal Pay

During the American Federation of Government Employees Legislative Conference, Kendrick took on the role of lead lobbyist. One of his goals was to get cosponsors on the FAIR Act (H. R.4775 – S.255). The FAIR (Federal Adjustment of Income Rates) Act calls for a Federal Pay Increase of 3% for Federal Employees.

Federal Employees Deserve A Raise!

According to the Bureau of labor Statistics, as of March 2016, federal workers are paid 34% less than their private sector counterparts for comparable work. That correlates to $1 in the private sector to a mere $0.66 for federal employees. According to long-standing legislation*, General Schedule (GS) employees are supposed to receive salaries that are only 5% less than comparable salaries in the private sector ($1 in the private sector to $0.95 for federal employees). Unfortunately, there is a loophole that allows for this law to not be implemented in times of “economic emergency.” Apparently, the United States has been in a constant state of economic emergency, because this law hasn’t been followed since 1994. Each year, lawmakers have used this loophole to justify pay adjustments lower than called for. As a result, GS employees are not getting paid their fair share.

Federal employees literally take an oath, voluntarily obligating themselves to working for the betterment of the United States of America. These are the folks who have dedicated their lives to taking care of veterans, supporting the active warfighters, protecting the environment, securing America’s borders, protecting the country from cyber warfare, and so much more. Regardless, they have been subjected to subpar pay increases, as well as pay freezes. Understandably, a lot of the federal work force has transitioned to the private industry, where they receive large pay increases for the same work, often times at the very same federal facility. This discourages the many good workers who are passionate about working to support America, but also have an obligation to provide for their families. As many good federal employees are considering switching over to the private sector for higher wages, a 3% increase in pay will show that the country’s leaders do care about the livelihood of federal workers who are dedicated to aggrandizing America.

The cost to the American Taxpayer is two to three times more for contractors than it is for GS employees doing comparable work. As a matter of fact, in 2013, the Secretary of Defense, then Chuck Hagel, was asked to verify if it was true that contractors cost the government two to three times more than civilian workers. The Secretary deferred the question to the Defense Comptroller, Robert Hale, who stated, “it sounds about right.”** One of the common misconceptions from folks who want to privatize government agencies is that it would be less expensive for the tax payer. The records reflect that this simply is not true. It is much more cost efficient for the federal government to hire, train, and retain the federal workforce, except when having a contractor is absolutely necessary.

Roberson relayed this information to United States congressmen and congresswomen on February 13th and 14th of 2018. Since then, two representatives have become cosponsors of the FAIR Act: Nanette Barragan and Mark Takano. Both of these members of Congress displayed abundant enthusiasm for bettering the lives of federal workers. Roberson is still fighting to get more cosponsors on the bill, with an overall goal of getting this legislation passed. If you, the reader, would like to support the federal work force by endorsing the FAIR Act, please call your representative and request that they vote YES on the FAIR ACT. If you do not know how to contact your member of Congress, please click here to find their information in less than a minute!

*FEPCA- Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act- Signed into law 1990

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