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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hoyer on Revitalizing the Federal Workforce

Defense Budget

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer participated virtually in the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing February 23 titled “Revitalizing the Federal Workforce.”

Rep. Hoyer (D-MD) told the committee that he represents more than 62,000 federal employees in Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District.

“Too often, federal employees have been treated as though they are expendable, even though they are indispensable. That has been particularly true over the last four years,” Mr. Hoyer said. “Perhaps the most vivid example of that was the Schedule F categorization that jeopardized the nonpartisan civil service and sought to intimidate federal workers. Thankfully, President Biden reversed that misguided action, protecting our nation’s civil service as well as our civil servants.

The congressman said he has been working to pass legislation to protect Inspectors General across the executive branch from being fired as a result of political retaliation.

“Independent Inspectors General are a critical component in ensuring that the federal workforce is able to serve the American people in a nonpartisan, professional manner,” Rep. Hoyer said. “And a nonpartisan, professional civil service is precisely what the 1881 Civil Service Reform Act and 1978 Civil Service Reform Act intended.”

“From pay freezes and benefit cuts to shutdowns and even denigrating comments from political leaders, our nation’s federal employees have continued to face difficult conditions as they perform their jobs serving the American people,” he said.

The congressman said that he has been promoting pay parity for civilian federal employees.

“If we wish to recruit and retain the best and brightest to serve in the federal workforce, we must ensure that pay and benefits are competitive with the private sector. Right now, that isn’t the case,” he said.

The most recent report on pay comparability from the federal salary council, issued in May 2020, showed that federal employees earn, on average, 26.7% less than their counterparts in the private sector.

“That is abysmal – and we must do better. One of the ways to correct this is to set federal civilian pay increases at parity with pay increases for our military. We did that for many years, but recently that has been the exception, not the rule,” Mr. Hoyer said. “At the same time, we need to focus on finding ways to bring competitive retirement and health care benefits in line with the best private-sector companies. I’m pleased that we were able to extend twelve weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees last year, but we need to finish the job by extending that to full family and medical leave. Our federal employees work hard and deserve pay and benefits commensurate with their talent, education, experience, technical skills, and contributions. And we need to make certain that we are not driving talented employees away by failing to compete with the private sector.”

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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