Connolly – Walorski Introduce the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act
Representatives Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) and Jackie R. Walorski (R-IN) have introduced the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure federal firefighters are eligible for the same full and fair retirement benefits as their state and local counterparts.
Every day, more than 15,000 federal firefighters put their lives at risk to protect our nation’s most critical assets – including the families, homes, and infrastructure on military installations across the country. Yet under current law, these brave first responders are denied the robust retirement package they so clearly deserve. Unlike their counterparts in state and local government, federal firefighters are not credited with the additional income from mandatory overtime for the purposes of calculating their retirement benefits.
The Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act would correct this injustice. By taking into account the number of overtime hours worked by federal firefighters each year, this bill would allow for a more accurate and equitable retirement calculation for our nation’s federal firefighters.
“These courageous men and women work grueling hours in the most difficult of circumstances,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “It is our absolute responsibility to provide them with a retirement worthy of the sacrifices they have made in service to the United States. Our bipartisan legislation fulfills that responsibility, and ensures that our retired federal firefighters are compensated fairly and fully.”
“Federal firefighters across the country – such as those at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana’s 2nd District – risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN). “The Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act will ensure these first responders get the full compensation and benefits they deserve.”
“I greatly appreciate Representatives Connolly and Walorski’s continuing support for federal fire fighters and the issues surrounding fair calculations of their earned retirement benefits. The IAFF fully supports the Federal Firefighters Pay Equity Act; it is time we recognize the complete regular compensation of federal fire fighters when calculating their hard earned retirement benefits,” International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold A. Schaitberger stated.
“AFGE would like to thank Representative Connolly and Representative Walorski for introducing the Firefighter Pay Equity Act. This legislation would correct the situation that has resulted in federal firefighters receiving less retirement benefits than they are owed--not all Federal firefighters' mandatory overtime hours are fully accounted for when computing their retirement benefits. Federal firefighters work in dangerous and extreme conditions, and as such they deserve to receive credit for all of the hours they work – not a partial computation based on fuzzy math,” said AFGE's National President, J. David Cox.
The legislation is available here.