PROMO 64J1 Government - Capitol Washington DC Building United States - iStock - lucky-photographer

Rally calls on Congress to fund government, raise federal employee wages

© iStock - lucky-photographer
Brett Peveto

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(Maryland News Connection) Federal employees rallied in Washington D.C. this week calling on Congress to raise their wages and avoid a government shutdown. 

With more than 120,000 federal employees based in Maryland, the March expiration of the latest continuing resolution looms large in the state. 

On Tuesday, the American Federation of Government Employees held a rally on Capitol Hill in support of fully funding the government. 

PROMO Government - Washington Monument - Wikimedia

Washington Monument - Wikimedia

The federation is the largest federal employee union, and national President Everett Kelley said it's time for Congress to step up.

"Not only do we want them to do their job, but we want them to fund the government, right?" said Kelley. "Keep the government open. Keep the government serving the American people. This is the most basic function of Congress."

In a continuing resolution passed last November, the House split government funding into two tranches with separate deadlines. The current continuing resolution expiration dates are March 1 and March 8.

Rally attendees also spoke out in support of the "Federal Adjustment of Income Rates" or "FAIR Act", which would raise federal employee wages by 7.4% in 2025. 

U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey - D-Cheverly - represents Prince George's County in the House and said federal workers deserve a raise.

"The FAIR Act's going to pass, right?" said Ivey. "Seven point four percent, you're long overdue. And we're going to make sure that you all get the pay raise that you deserve."

The Federal Salary Council advisory board calculates that federal employees make on average 27% less than people doing similar jobs in the private sector.