Federal Workers Still Paid One-Third Less Than Private Sector

For the third time in three years, a study released by the Federal Salary Council shows federal employees make 35 percent less than comparable private-sector employees. The Federal Salary Council, of which NFFE’s National Secretary/Treasurer Randy Erwin is a member, is made up of numerous pay experts and advises President Obama and the Administration on federal wages.

For too many years, including nearly every year in the current Administration, federal employees have endured lackluster, or nonexistent, pay adjustments that have failed to keep pace with the annual rate of inflation. It’s becoming more difficult for employees to remain with the federal government.

All the while, federal employees have been a favorite target of Congress to make deeps cuts in the name of balancing the federal budget. All told, recent estimates indicate the federal workforce has sacrificed $159 billion in cuts over the last five years.

What has largely led to the 35 percent pay disparity between federal and matching non-federal salaries as measured by BLS, is a Congress and Administration unwilling to allocate the necessary funds for a pay adjustment that actually keeps pace with inflation and attempts to recover some of the ground lost in the gaping pay disparity.

This pay disparity further highlights the need to pass Congressman Connolly’s FAIR Act (H.R. 304) – a bill providing federal employees a 3.8 percent pay adjustment. Federal workers have earned a pay adjustment that actually reflects the increased cost of living.

“This Federal Salary Council report certifies once again that federal employee pay is lagging far behind the pay of private sector workers performing similar jobs,” said NFFE National Secretary/Treasurer Randy Erwin. “Federal agencies cannot expect to recruit and retain the best and brightest when the average federal employee has to take a 35 percent pay cut to work for the federal government. Federal workers need and deserve a fair wage. The challenge is to convince Congress to take action to do something about this growing problem.”

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