WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today vowing to fight for pay parity for federal civilian employees and military employees in Fiscal Year 2005 after an amendment to add language in support of the bipartisan principle failed in committee:
“I am very disappointed that the House Budget Committee failed to support the bipartisan principle of pay parity, which Congress has supported for 19 of the last 21 years. Pay parity ensures that both our military and civilian federal employees receive fair pay adjustments each year.
“Unlike the House, a bipartisan majority in the Senate has embraced pay parity, and I will continue to work with my House colleagues, such as Representatives Tom Davis and Frank Wolf, and Senate colleagues, such as Senator Ted Stevens, to include pay parity in the fiscal year 2005 appropriations process.
“Federal Employees are crucial to fighting the war on terrorism and meeting the other challenges of the 21st century, and I will fight hard to reward hard working federal civilian employees by implementing the bipartisan principle of pay parity again this year.”
There are 1.8 million civilian federal employees across the country - in the Department of Defense alone there are over 600,000 civilian federal employees. Over the past two decades, both the House and Senate have consistently recognized that Congress and the Executive Branch should not undermine the morale of dedicated Federal public servants by failing to bring their pay adjustments in line with military personnel.
The principle of parity stems from the recognition that the pay for civilian and military employees simply has not kept pace with increases in the private sector. According to the most recent studies, a 32 percent pay gap exists between the civilian employees and their private sector counterparts and an estimated 5.4 percent gap exists between the military service members and the private sector.