FILE – U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks before President Joe Biden about his infrastructure agenda while announcing funding to upgrade Philadelphia’s water facilities and replace lead pipes, Feb. 3, 2023, at Belmont Water Treatment Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8) introduced the Locality Pay Equity Act to help put an end to the persistent wage disparities at Tobyhanna Army Depot and Letterkenny Army Depot by requiring the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to treat all employees working at the same locations equally.
“Every worker deserves to be treated fairly, regardless of pay schedule, and time has long past for us to address this issue at Tobyhanna and Letterkenny,” said Senator Casey. “These workers are serving our Nation and they deserve fair treatment from their government. This legislation would work to create a fairer compensation system and end these pay disparities.”
“The hardworking men and women at Tobyhanna Army Depot work tirelessly to keep the American warfighter equipped with the best technology. From navigational equipment to missile guidance and control, Tobyhanna is a role model for American ingenuity,” said Congressman Matt Cartwright, co-chair of the bipartisan House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus. “But the outdated and unfair federal pay system has disadvantaged workers at Tobyhanna for years. Senator Casey and I agree that we should be doing all we can to support these workers — and that includes ensuring fairness in terms of pay. This common-sense fix will help do just that.”
“Under current policy, there are significant and unjust pay gaps between federal employees under the Federal Wage System (FWS) and those on the General Schedule (GS). The issue stems from outdated FWS wage area boundaries, which were mostly drawn shortly after World War II, reflecting the locations of military installations at the time. However, GS locality boundaries are up to date and more accurate according to commuting rates and other job market considerations,” said Randy Erwin, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees. “It is fundamentally unfair that federal employees working side-by-side, for the same employer, and in the same location, are paid different wages. It is time to end these pay inequities by guaranteeing pay parity with the Locality Pay Equity Act.”
“Our local leaders across Pennsylvania know that Senator Casey is a champion for pay equality between our General Schedule and Wage Grade workers. It is only fair to provide each with the same locality area for base pay and retirement,” said Philip W. Glover, District 3 National Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees (PA/DE). “We applaud Senator Casey for continuing this fight on behalf of the federal workforce.”
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 prohibit OPM from including more than one local wage area within a pay locality and ensure that no employee’s pay will be lowered because of these changes.
The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Fetterman (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).