Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8) reintroduced legislation that would help put an end to the persistent wage disparities at Tobyhanna Army Depot and Letterkenny Army Depot. Currently, salaried employees at both facilities, served by the General Schedule (GS), are included in higher paying locality pay areas than their hourly employee counterparts, who are served by the Federal Wage System (FWS). The Locality Pay Equity Act would help put an end to these disparities by requiring the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to treat all employees working at the same locations equally.
“All employees, regardless of pay schedule, should be treated equally,” said Senator Casey. “It’s long past time that we address this ongoing issue at Tobyhanna and Letterkenny. Workers at these army depots are serving our Nation and deserve fair treatment from the federal government. This legislation would put an end to these pay disparities and create a more equitable compensation system.”
“There’s no reason we should be using two different sets of pay boundaries, especially when it results in such an unfair wage gap,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Senator Casey and I agree that it’s time to fix this outdated system. This is a simple solution that ensures all Tobyhanna employees are paid fairly for their work, regardless of whether they are paid a salary or by the hour.”
The Locality Pay Equity Act would:
- Prohibit the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from including more than one local wage area within a pay locality;
- Remain targeted in scope, exempting the “Rest of the United States” locality from the requirement; and
- Ensure that no employee’s pay will be lowered as a result of the change.
Within the federal workforce, hourly and salaried workers are paid using different pay-setting systems. Hourly workers fall under the FWS while salaried workers fall under the GS pay system. Both systems allow for workers’ pay to be adjusted based on their location to account for differences in regional economic conditions. However, despite the fact that salaried and hourly workers at federal facilities like Tobyhanna and Letterkenny live and work in the same areas, current law does not require that the boundaries used to set locality pay be the same for hourly and salaried workers. As a result, salaried workers on the GS system are included in more generous locality pay and receive greater relative compensation than hourly workers on the FWS system. These disparities dampen employee morale, create tensions within the workforce and can undermine the federal government’s ability to recruit for important positions.
Read more about the Locality Pay Equity Act here.