Democrats in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would give Federal employees an average 5.1 percent pay raise in 2023.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, in the House, and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

“For two years, Federal employees have risked their health and safety working on the frontlines of this pandemic,” Rep. Connolly said in a statement. “For four years prior, they were subjected to the Trump Administration’s cruel personal attacks, unsafe work environments, pay freezes, government shutdowns, sequestration cuts, furloughs, and mindless across-the-board hiring freezes. Still, our Federal workforce serves with dedication and distinction every day.”

“Federal employees are our government’s single greatest asset, and they deserve better,” he added. “The FAIR Act is critical step toward recognizing their contributions and providing fair and just compensation.”

This marks the eighth consecutive year Connolly has introduced the FAIR Act, but Congress has yet to pass any version of the act. In the 2021 version, Connolly called for a 3.2 percent pay raise.

Instead, President Biden signed an executive order in December that authorized an average 2.7 percent Federal pay raise for 2022. The pay raise went into effect on Jan. 1.

“Whether inspecting our food, conducting medical research, or caring for our veterans, Federal workers play an important role in our everyday lives and deserve pay which reflects that,” Sen. Schatz said. “After the many pay freezes they’ve been through, our bill gives these dedicated public servants a much-deserved raise.”

This year, the FAIR Act is cosponsored by eight Democrats in the House and 10 senators – nine Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

The bill has also gained support from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).

“NARFE urges President Biden to include a pay increase in his budget submission commensurate with the FAIR Act, and encourages House members and senators who value the Federal workforce to support the pay plan,” the organization said.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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