Update on Senate Committee Action on Key Federal Workforce Items

The Senate Appropriations Committee has released a draft bill that includes several key federal workforce items.

Seal of the United States Senate
Seal of the United States Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee has released its draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations measure. It is unclear whether this measure will see further action, as Congress is trying to reach a larger agreement on a two-year spending deal before December 8 when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the federal government expires.

NTEU is pleased that the Senate draft bill includes a provision that would continue the current government-wide moratorium on A-76 competitions. Similar language maintaining the ban on A-76 conversions was also included in the House-passed FY 2018 Omnibus legislation. NTEU worked to ensure that this language was retained for FY 2018, given its importance to ensuring federal jobs and functions, that could otherwise be outsourced to the private-sector.

Money in walletTraditionally, this is the measure that carries the General Schedule federal employee pay raise. However, in recent years, Congress has remained silent on a pay raise, allowing White House proposed pay raises to be enacted instead. This draft bill does not include specific language for the January 2018 across-the-board pay increase, which would allow the President’s 1.9% average proposed raise (1.4% designated as the across-the-board raise, 0.5% average increases to locality pay rates) to go into effect in January unless further Congressional action is taken to increase or decrease the proposed amount. However, the draft measure does include language to ensure that Wage Grade employees ultimately receive the same pay adjustment as General Schedule employees.

NTEU believes the proposed 1.9% amount is too low, particularly given current average 3% pay raises in private-sector labor markets, and owing to the fact that federal workers still need to catch-up from years of pay freezes and below-market pay raises. NTEU supports legislation (S.255 and H.R.757) that would instead provide a 3.2% pay increase in January.  With Congress having recently acted to provide a 2.4% pay raise for military personnel for 2018, NTEU is also pushing for the principle of pay parity to be honored for all U.S. government personnel in January.

I will keep you updated on further FY 2018 appropriations developments, including as we near the current CR’s December 8 deadline.