Walorski, Connolly Reintroduce the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act

Friday, February 15, 2019

Walorski, Connolly Reintroduce the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today and Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) have reintroduced 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.

“Thousands of federal firefighters across America – including many at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana – risk their lives every day to keep people safe and protect our national security,” Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) said.  “We have a responsibility to make sure they are treated fairly in retirement. The bipartisan Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act will ensure these brave and hardworking first responders get the full compensation and benefits they deserve.”

“These courageous men and women work grueling hours in the most difficult of circumstances,” Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said. “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 fire fighters spend their careers protecting the public. These dedicated professionals have earned the right to be fully compensated in retirement,” stated Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “The International Association of Fire Fighters fully supports the Federal Firefighter Pay Equity Act.  On behalf of our federal members, and more than 316,000 professional fire fighters of the IAFF, I want to thank to Representatives Connolly and Walorski for their leadership on this important issue.”

“AFGE thanks Congressman Connolly and Congresswoman Walorski for introducing the  “Firefighter Pay Equity Act.” Federal Firefighters are committed to keeping federal buildings and lands safe and put it all on the line for our safety. They should not be penalized for mandatory overtime. Rather, federal firefighters should be fairly compensated for every hour they are required to work and every hour worked should be accounted for their retirement benefits,” said American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO National President J. David Cox.

Text of the legislation is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.


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