What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : A vote on passage of a Democratic resolution (H.Res.585), which states that federal civilian employees will receive the same annual pay raise as military personnel in fiscal year 2005. (2004 house Roll Call 104)
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

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A vote on passage of a Democratic resolution (H.Res.585), which states that federal civilian employees will receive the same annual pay raise as military personnel in fiscal year 2005.
house Roll Call 104     Mar 31, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

Progressives backed passage of this bi-partisan resolution (H.Res.585), which states that federal civilian employees will receive the same annual pay raise as military personnel. Progressives said this should be "a well-settled principle. Unfortunately," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a sponsor of the resolution, "we are faced with an administration that does not appreciate the importance of the federal workforce. Waxman added that the resolution was needed in light of "countless examples of federal employees coming under attack from this administration." Progressives also noted that in the past two years, 800,000 civilian employees at the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense have seen the revocation of their collective bargaining rights, due process rights and appeal rights. We have seen an ideologically driven campaign to privatize federal jobs. They also attacked President Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget priorities with respect to federal employees, with the president proposing giving civilian employees a 1.5 percent raise, less than half, less than half the raise that military personnel will receive, progressives said. It is all the more unfair, they added, in light of the Bush administration decision to grant tax cuts to very wealthy individuals. Progressives said the resolution is imperative for it expresses the sense of Congress that the government should provide fair compensation for federal employees in order to encourage citizens to pursue a life of public service. House conservatives argued that the resolution's proposed 3.5 percent pay raise for federal civilian workers was "too generous." They added that just because pay is raised for the military, it does not follow that federal civil servants should get a larger raise, too. Progressives countered that, "People that work at civil service jobs are not taking the same risks on behalf of their country as people that are working in our Armed Forces. We do not have the retention problems in the civil service sector as we do in the Armed Forces." On top of that, conservatives stated, the U.S. taxpayer simply cannot afford the $2.2 billion per year that such a raise would cost. Nevertheless, the resolution passed 299-126, meaning the House is on record stating that federal civilian workers should be entitled to a pay raise commensurate with that of military personnel.

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