Priority Issues

NTEU’s legislative agenda was established during a meeting in Washington, D.C., of the Legislative Advisory Committee. This group of NTEU members from various federal agencies and NTEU chapters spent hours reviewing the legislative landscape for federal employees and then recommended four priority issues to National President Tony Reardon.


Improving Pay

  • Private-sector wages have increased 10.4% on average over the last five years, compared to an overall increase of 6.9% for federal workers in this same time period.
  • A healthier national job market and current private-sector pay trends-average 3% pay adjustment in 2018- require agencies to provide adequate, comparable pay raises.
  • Federal employees have already contributed approximately $200 billion in deficit reduction through pay freezes, below-market pay adjustments, and retirement contribution increases.
  • Ask legislators to cosponsor H.R. 4775 and S. 2295 for a 3% pay raise in 2019, and to support meaningful compensation, and equitable and transparent pay systems.

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Preserving and Enhancing Employee Benefits

  • In recent years, Congress has used the federal retirement program to help close the deficit, by increasing required FERS retirement contributions for all new hires.
  • Further, recent administration and congressional proposals have advanced to cut retirement benefits, including eliminating the FERS supplement, moving from a high 3 to high 5 formula, eliminating COLAs, eroding the Thrift Savings Plan’s (TSP) G Fund, and even eliminating the defined benefit pension entirely, as well as altering the formulas and structure of FEHBP, the health insurance program.
  • Unlike many state retirement systems, FERS is fully funded and financially sound with no unfunded liability.
  • Federal employees and retirees are already experiencing increasing FEHBP plan premiums and rising copays, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs.
  • Ask Members to oppose further federal retirement reductions, and to support, H.R. 3269, to roll-back the increased contributions for new hires.
  • Ask Members to oppose efforts to shift additional costs to FEHBP enrollees.
  • Urge Members to support H.R. 1022 and S. 362, legislation to adopt a modest, government-wide paid parental leave program.
  • Ask legislators to voice support for continued telework options for federal employees.

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Ensuring a Fair Workplace

  • Under current law, federal employees voluntarily decide whether or not to join a union.
  • Due process and collective bargaining rights ensure safe, transparent, and fair agency workplaces that prevent a politicized civil service, and safeguard whistleblower protections.
  • Ask House offices to oppose H.R. 559 and H.R. 3257, bills that weaken due process rights and penalize frontline employees for unfair management practices.
  • Urge members to support H.R. 4878 and S.2340, legislation to re-instate the National Labor Management Relations Council and agency-level forums to allow for meaningful workplace collaboration, resulting in cost-efficiencies and better program implementation.

Securing Agency Missions

  • Agencies need sufficient, long-term funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 and for 2019 to meet their missions for the public, and relief from sequestration.
  • Hiring freezes and additional proposals to reduce the workforce are diminishing the ability of agencies to perform their basic functions, and harm the public who rely on agency programs and services.
  • Ask Members to oppose efforts to cripple or kill critical agencies and the services they provide.
  • Share your specific agency’s funding and staffing needs.