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Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have co-sponsored a bill that seeks to raise the salaries of federal civilian workers by 3.3 percent next year, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Josh Hicks writes the two senators introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act to help compensate for three years of frozen pay.

“Our federal employees bore the brunt of the sequester, enduring furloughs and a three-year pay freeze,” Schatz said in a statement, according to the Post.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, believes the bill aims to “help federal employees recoup some of that lost income and ensure the government is able to recruit and retain the high-caliber workers that taxpayers expect.” - Executive Gov, 5/28/14

Here's a little more info:

Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and  Ben Cardin (D-Md.) proposed the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) act on Friday, saying the legislation would help make up for the three-year pay freeze that ended in 2014, after President Obama ordered a 1 percent raise for federal workers.

“Our federal employees bore the brunt of the sequester, enduring furloughs and a three-year pay freeze,” Schatz, the bill’s sponsor, said in a joint statement with the measure’s supporters. “Our bill would give these working families a raise they deserve.”

Obama halted the annual pay increases for federal workers for two years starting in 2011, and Congress extended the hold through 2013, all while leaders in Washington were trying to reach a deal to trim federal deficits. Employees still received extra pay through promotions and performance awards during that time.

Labor groups have lined up in support of the Senate bill, saying federal workers have seen their standard of living deteriorate because of the pay freeze, the furloughs that some agencies used to achieve their target sequester cuts, and a recent increase in retirement contributions for new hires. - Washington Post, 5/27/14

This is one of the many reasons we have to make sure Schatz wins his primary.  Recent polling show him ahead of Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D. HI):

With less than two months to go before the first votes will be cast, Brian Schatz leads Colleen Hanabusa by 5 percentage points in the Democratic primary for Senate, a new Civil Beat Poll shows.

Schatz, the incumbent, has the support of 44 percent of Hawaii voters who say they will pull the Democratic ballot in the Aug. 9 primary. Hanabusa, a U.S. representative, polled 39 percent, with 16 percent saying they were undecided.

This is the fourth time Civil Beat has polled the Schatz-Hanabusa race over the past year, but it is the first time that one candidate appears to be gaining ground. Our previous polls showed the race essentially tied, with a lot of voters undecided.

“There has been a movement toward Schatz,” said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted The Civil Beat Poll. “Outside of Hawaii, there has been a pronounced coalescing around his candidacy. Inside Hawaii, there has been some gradual movement toward him.”

“He certainly is the favorite now,” Fitch added. “We are showing a closer, though widening race at this time than some other very good national pollsters. We respect what they do, but we perhaps have a different model about the ethnic composition of the likely voters in August.”

A poll conducted May 9-11 by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee that has endorsed Schatz, had the senator up 49 percent to 34 percent. Seventeen percent were undecided. - Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/27/14

Click here if you want to donate and get involved with Schatz's campaign:
Sen. Brian Schatz and wife Linda about to be interviewed by local TV media at the Democratic Party of Hawaii State Convention.

Originally posted to pdc on Wed May 28, 2014 at 03:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Maryland Kos.

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