Connolly Introduces Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act
Washington, March 1, 2023
Tags: Federal Employees
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) 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, 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 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 Connolly. “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 put themselves directly in harm’s way and save lives on a daily basis – all while working 72 hours per week. It’s time they are paid a fair wage for their work, not one-third less than their state and local counterparts. Requiring federal firefighters to work such a grueling schedule exacerbates their risk for occupational injuries and burnout, and reduces their retirement earnings,” said Edward A. Kelly, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “I thank Representative Gerry Connolly for introducing the Federal Firefighters Pay Equity Act which will ensure our federal firefighters receive a living wage and a fair work schedule. This critical bill will also strengthen federal firefighters' retirement by counting their overtime hours when calculating their retirement earnings. I call on Congress to pass this bill immediately and give federal firefighters the recognition and compensation that they have earned while protecting our nation.”
Text of the legislation is available here.