Democrats Propose 8.7% Pay Raise For Federal Workers Next Year

Democrats lawmakers have proposed a bill to provide federal employees with an 8.7% increase in pay in 2024. While the idea has always been met with kickbacks by critics who say it is yet another of Democrats’ plots to waste taxpayer dollars, proponents of the bill say it is necessary.

The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, also known as the FAIR Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), is a way to pay workers back for “years of lost wage increases” they have been subjected to over the last ten years due to government shutdowns, hiring freezes and pay freezes. It would also make up for their sufferings through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For years now, federal employees have risked their health and safety working on the frontlines of this pandemic,” Connolly said in a press release that announced the reintroduction of the bill.

The rep added that workers had to face personal attacks from the Trump administration as well as unsafe work environments, government shutdowns, sequestration cuts, and layoffs while struggling through the challenging conditions of working during the pandemic.

“Still, our federal workforce serves with dedication and distinction every day. Federal employees are our government’s single greatest asset, and they deserve better,” Connolly’s statement said further.

Proposing the bill in the Senate, Schatz explained that it would be an excellent way to compensate federal workers, who play an essential role in the daily lives of Americans. “After years of pay freezes, our bill gives these dedicated public servants a much-deserved raise,” he stated.

If successful, the FAIR Act would give federal employees an 8.7% pay raise on average in 2024. That is in addition to the 4.6% raise they received from President Joe Biden this year.

Collonny and Schatz have introduced bills similar to the FAIR Act in the past, but it has never passed Congress. Among those backing this latest attempt are the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the National Federation of Federal Employees, the American Federal of Government Employees and the International Association of Fire Fighters and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

President of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, William Shackelford, said that the proposed raise would reduce the effects of “a tightening labor market and increasing private-sector pay, rising costs of living and an impending federal retirement wave.”

For the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Randy Erwin, the increase is not exactly a pay raise but “the minimum increase” needed to help federal workers achieve some balance amid rising costs.