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Tony Reardon, President of the National Treasury Employees Union, discusses policies NTEU is advocating for, including federal employee pay raises and COVID-19 protections

Members of Congress of both parties agree the policies governing the federal workforce need work. However, the debate in the House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee hearing this week seemed to indicate that’s about where the agreement ends.

Tony Reardon, President of the National Treasury Employees Union, submitted written testimony to the subcommittee for that hearing and spoke to “Government Matters” about the message he wanted to send.

Reardon said it was a show of support for the effort in Congress and by President Biden to reverse some of the policies of the last four years. “The American people deserve a federal workforce that is staffed with skilled, experienced, non-partisan professionals,” said Reardon.

NTEU provided a list of four major areas to focus on to make the federal service even more attractive to the best and brightest employees, according to Reardon. The categories include more competitive pay and benefits, a stronger voice for employees in the workplace, robust COVID-19 health and safety protocols and emphasis on a merit-based system.

Reardon said while there may not be widespread agreement on specific policies, he thinks many on the Hill would agree that federal employees deserve a fair pay raise. “If the FAIR Act were to be put into law, that would bring a 3.2% pay increase for federal employees in 2022,” he said.

Some of the COVID-19 precautionary measures NTEU would like to see implemented in the federal government include a continuation of maximum telework until vaccines are widely distributed, expansion of additional emergency leave and administrative time provided for employees to receive the vaccine.

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