Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA), which was established in 1981 by managers working for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials, and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS, issued the following statement in response to the President’s decision to adjust pay for civilian employees of the federal government.
“PMA welcomes the letter from the President describing a base pay rise of 4.1 percent across-the-board and a locality pay increase that averages 0.5 percent for civilian federal workers. Despite being exposed to frequent political insults and hatred, federal workers continue to work hard in service to the American people. They carry on with the filing of tax returns, the launch of space missions, the provision of medical treatment for veterans, and the enforcement of the laws of our land. The epidemic is reshaping the workforce throughout the country, and federal workers are adapting to these changes as well as discovering new methods to offer important government services. They have worked very well and deserve this wage boost, but with inflation on the rise, it is not only a reward. “It is essential,” Hooper said from the outset.
Over half of the people in the United States who earned increases in the previous year have had their gains nullified by the current rate of inflation, which is approaching 9 percent. We cannot claim that a wage boost of 4.6 percent maintains pace with inflation, nor can we pretend that it is sufficient to transform the federal government into a role model employer for the rest of the country. In the event that government workers are forced to choose between providing for their families and serving their country, the majority of them will choose to provide for their families. Workers in the government will resign in favour of more financially rewarding positions in the private sector. In point of fact, they are already doing so. It is not appropriate for us to coerce our staff into making this decision,” Hooper stated.
As the rate of inflation skyrocketed, a number of businesses gave pay increases in the middle of the year. Instead, federal workers were told that whatever rises they had received the year before would not be given to them, even while the cost of both food and healthcare continued to rise. Both a positive working atmosphere and respectful treatment of one’s workers are incompatible with this practise. Hooper went on to say, “We encourage the Biden Administration to submit a revised wage adjustment in sync with inflation.”
“Now, finally, Congress has to do action. Regarding appropriations legislation, Congress has remained mute on the subject of pay raises for federal workers for a number of years. In the absence of any opposition from Congress, the President’s request for a salary adjustment is approved; nonetheless, it does not get any funding. When it comes to providing pay raises for its employees, government agencies are required to make cuts from their own budgets. This has a significant impact on the finances of the agencies and weakens the financial allocations. When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to take money out of its budget to pay for pay raises for its employees, it cannot use those funds to update its technology, improve the services it provides to taxpayers, or implement changes in the law, such as the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act. Processing pay rises at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) becomes an exceedingly expensive endeavour when there are around 78,000 full-time workers. We strongly encourage Congress to authorise funds for a pay rise that is in line with inflation so that federal agencies may commit agency budgets to executing the laws as Congress intended. Hooper came to the conclusion that “it is time for Congress and the President to come together and provide a proper pay raise to civilian federal employees. This is not just because they have earned it, but also because our federal government cannot compete for talent in the current economy without it.”