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February 07, 2003
No 'Pay Parity' Planned for Federal Workers
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er President Bush’s proposed budget for 2004, members of the armed forces would receive average pay increases more than double the size of those given to civilian federal workers, the Washington Post reports.

The military would average a pay increase of 4.1 percent and civilian employees would get a 2 percent pay raise, according to the Washington Post. The newspaper says that this is the second consecutive year Bush has ignored the tradition of “pay parity.”

There have been requests from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to hold to the tradition. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a Democrat, and Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, a Republican, have introduced a measure that calls for pay parity, the Post reports.

“It is critically important that we pay our civilian federal employees a competitive wage or we will not be able to recruit and retain the quality workers that are necessary to fight the war on terrorism and run an effective government,” Hoyer tells the newspaper.

The Post reports that the 2 percent increase for federal civilian workers doesn’t meet the 2.7 percent raise called for by a federal pay law, one that was designed to bring public-sector workers’ wages closer in line with those of private-sector employees doing similar work.

Under the president’s plan, federal agencies would also be able to dip into the new $500 million “performance fund” to boost the raises of their best civilian workers, according to the Post. The Post notes that the fund would require congressional changes in federal pay laws.


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