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Joffrion demands that Congress pass pay increases for federal workers

Direction of United States financial concept, compass on US Dollar banknotes using as leadership of country guidance after government shutdown.

Friday, September 7, 2018 Congressional Candidate Peter Joffrion announced that he defends pay raises for federal civilian employees at Redstone Arsenal and across Madison County.

On Thursday, August 30 President Donald J. Trump (R) sent a letter to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader announced that due to the fiscal situation there will be no pay raises for federal employees in 2019.

“The working men and women of Redstone Arsenal serve a vital function in protecting our country from foreign threats. They have earned a pay raise through service to our country and hard work,” Joffrion stated.
Representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) have noted that 40,000+ federal jobs on Redstone Arsenal and across North Alabama will be impacted by this action.

“Congress can and should act to ensure these civil servants receive a cost of living raise. Federal employees like those on Redstone Arsenal are the backbone of Huntsville’s economy, and they deserve a Congressman who will stand up and fight for their jobs and their pay. Mo Brooks won’t. I will.”

The budget deficit has grown to $790 billion and the national debt has soared to $21,471 billion despite a booming economy. Due in large part to massive increases in military spending, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and Congress’s unwillingness to make substantial cuts to either entitlements or to discretionary spending.

President Trump wrote in his letter:

“Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 25.70 percent, costing $25 billion, would go into effect in January 2019, in addition to a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for the base General Schedule. We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases. Accordingly, I have determined that it is appropriate to exercise my authority to set alternative across-the-board and locality pay adjustments for 2019 pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5303(b) and 5304a. Specifically, I have determined that for 2019, both across‑the‑board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero. These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce. As noted in my Budget for Fiscal Year 2019, the cost of employing the Federal workforce is significant. In light of our Nation’s fiscal situation, Federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining, and rewarding high-performing Federal employees and those with critical skill sets. Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals.”

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Peter Joffrion is a retired Huntsville city attorney. Joffrion is running to represent Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Joffrion faces incumbent Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the November 6 general election.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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