NARFE NewsLine Advocacy Update - November 19, 2019

November 19, 2019

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

They say variety is the spice of life, but if you're a current or retired federal employee scanning a plethora of health care plans during Open Season, variety may feel overwhelming. Too often, NARFE's Federal Benefits Institute hears from members who express regret about their plan selection after the fact. By nature, health care is complex and technical - but don't let that lull you into complacency and inaction. Investing time into researching the best health care option for you will pay dividends later - in financial savings and/or peace of mind. If you have questions, NARFE has answers. Visit our Open Season webpage for webinars, guidance documents, fact sheets and links to government resources.

 

ADVOCACY UPDATE

No New Locality Pay Areas in 2021, Says Federal Salary Council

The Federal Salary Council (FSC) announced no new locality salary adjustments for federal workers in 2021, as reported by Government Executive. Recent results of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual study of federal and private-sector workers’ salaries found a 5 percentage point decrease in the pay gap. According to BLS data, federal workers earn 26.71 percent less than workers in the private sector. As a result of this decrease, no new regions met the FSC’s criteria for locality pay areas. Critics of the council’s decision argue that the methods for determining federal pay adjustments are outdated, disadvantageous to many regions and should be revisited.

According to the council’s requirements, a region must have a minimum 2,500 federal workers and a 10 percent disparity in salaries to be added to the locality pay area list. Critics of the council’s policy-making approach argue there is no relevance between the number of General Schedule (GS) employees to the definition of a local labor market. In response, the council agreed to develop a working group to revisit the locality pay issue.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) added six new pay localities in 2019 based on the council’s recommendations. And while the council made recommendations for 2020 locality pay areas, it is up to the President’s Pay Agent to approve FSC’s recommendations. Meanwhile, the president’s 2020 proposed pay raise of 2.6 percent across the board provides no locality pay adjustments. The proposal falls behind recent private-sector pay increases and a congressionally-supported military pay raise of 3.1 percent.

Efforts to close the pay gap between the public and private sectors began with the 1990 Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA). The FSC, which comprises federal employee union representatives and administration officials, was established to provide recommendations to FEPCA’s locality pay mandate.

We need your help to ensure federal employees receive a comparable pay increase. Use NARFE’s Legislative Action Center today to send a personalized message to your members of Congress urging them to support a 3.1 percent average pay raise for federal workers in 2020.

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

NARFE NewsLine Advocacy Update - November 19, 2019

November 19, 2019

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

They say variety is the spice of life, but if you're a current or retired federal employee scanning a plethora of health care plans during Open Season, variety may feel overwhelming. Too often, NARFE's Federal Benefits Institute hears from members who express regret about their plan selection after the fact. By nature, health care is complex and technical - but don't let that lull you into complacency and inaction. Investing time into researching the best health care option for you will pay dividends later - in financial savings and/or peace of mind. If you have questions, NARFE has answers. Visit our Open Season webpage for webinars, guidance documents, fact sheets and links to government resources.

 

ADVOCACY UPDATE

No New Locality Pay Areas in 2021, Says Federal Salary Council

The Federal Salary Council (FSC) announced no new locality salary adjustments for federal workers in 2021, as reported by Government Executive. Recent results of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual study of federal and private-sector workers’ salaries found a 5 percentage point decrease in the pay gap. According to BLS data, federal workers earn 26.71 percent less than workers in the private sector. As a result of this decrease, no new regions met the FSC’s criteria for locality pay areas. Critics of the council’s decision argue that the methods for determining federal pay adjustments are outdated, disadvantageous to many regions and should be revisited.

According to the council’s requirements, a region must have a minimum 2,500 federal workers and a 10 percent disparity in salaries to be added to the locality pay area list. Critics of the council’s policy-making approach argue there is no relevance between the number of General Schedule (GS) employees to the definition of a local labor market. In response, the council agreed to develop a working group to revisit the locality pay issue.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) added six new pay localities in 2019 based on the council’s recommendations. And while the council made recommendations for 2020 locality pay areas, it is up to the President’s Pay Agent to approve FSC’s recommendations. Meanwhile, the president’s 2020 proposed pay raise of 2.6 percent across the board provides no locality pay adjustments. The proposal falls behind recent private-sector pay increases and a congressionally-supported military pay raise of 3.1 percent.

Efforts to close the pay gap between the public and private sectors began with the 1990 Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA). The FSC, which comprises federal employee union representatives and administration officials, was established to provide recommendations to FEPCA’s locality pay mandate.

We need your help to ensure federal employees receive a comparable pay increase. Use NARFE’s Legislative Action Center today to send a personalized message to your members of Congress urging them to support a 3.1 percent average pay raise for federal workers in 2020.



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.