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National Office Update: Sept. 29, 2019

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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FEDERAL EMPLOYEE PAY RAISE Congress has the ability to propose pay raises for federal employees. For FY 2020, the House-passed FSGG appropriations bill includes a proposed 2.6% raise across the board, plus 0.5% toward locality pay, for an average total increase of 3.1% for federal employees. However, the Senate FSGG bill does not contain a pay raise proposal for federal employees. On Aug. 30, President Trump issued an alternative pay plan for 2020 in which he endorsed a 2.6% across the board pay increase for civilian federal employees (but no increase to locality pay), effectively ending the administration's push for a pay freeze next year. Each year, the president is required to submit an alternative pay plan to Congress by the end of August; otherwise, significant automatic pay increases will take effect under the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act. Next Steps: Because a CR was signed into law to extend current funding for the government at FY 2019 levels, the federal employee pay raise proposals are on hold until the House and Senate agree to a final FSGG appropriations bill and it is signed into law by the President. Alternatively, the President could decide to implement his proposed 2.6% increase in 2020. Either way, the pay raise will continue to be debated and sorted out within the next few months, and GA staff will continue to provide updates. SUPPORTING PAID PARENTAL LEAVE Recently, NATCA signed onto a letter in support of parental leave provisions in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This letter advocates for the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (H.R. 1534), which would grant 12 weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth, adoption or foster placement of a new child; up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition; 12 weeks of paid leave if they are unable to work due to a serious medical condition; and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for other purposes that qualify for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including for certain military, caregiving and leave purposes. The letter encourages this language to be included in the FY 2020 NDAA, the annual defense policy bill. This bill typically faces delays, and this year it is expected to be delayed at least until mid-October. Background: For years, NATCA has been advocating on Capitol Hill for parental leave. In 2017, NATCA signed onto a similar letter endorsing the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2017 (to provide federal employees six weeks of paid leave in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child). LEGISLATIVE WATCHLIST NATCA Government Affairs staff continues to closely monitor any anti-federal employee legislation and all other actions that could impact the NATCA membership, including those that would attack federal employee pay and benefits. From the White House, President Trump will continue to drive his own legislative agenda and work to shore up political support from his base in preparation for the 2020 election.

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