Hoyer Applauds Congress for Supporting Pay Parity Over White House Objections

For Immediate Release:

November 18, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released the following statement today applauding the inclusion of a 3.1 percent pay adjustment for federal employees in the FY 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Conference Report. This provision provides civilian federal employees and military employees with the same pay adjustment, following a long-standing Congressional principle known as "pay parity." The House passed the conference report today.

"I am pleased to have succeeded in the bipartisan effort to include a 3.1 percent pay adjustment for civilian federal and military employees in the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Conference Report despite strong opposition from the White House.

"With security threats at home and abroad, it is important that federal employees, nearly 700,000 of whom work at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, receive a fair pay adjustment.

"Many civilian federal employees, such as FBI agents, CIA agents, and National Institute of Health scientists, work with the military daily to protect our nation from terrorism and other threats. This pay adjustment rewards them for their commitment and dedication to serving our country and protecting our citizens.

"Congress has endorsed the principle of pay parity, as a simple matter of fairness and as an important recruiting and retention tool, for 22 of the last 24 years.  It reflects the conviction that compensation for civilian federal employees must be sufficient to support efforts to recruit and retain the best employees. As an increasing number of employees become eligible for retirement, the government must have the ability to hire quality employees to avert a human capital crisis.

“Pay parity also recognizes that the pay for civilian and military employees simply has not kept pace with increases in the private sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 32-percent pay gap exists between the civilian employees and their private sector counterparts in some parts of the nation and an estimated 10-percent gap exists between the military service members and the private sector.”

###