November 13, 2003

Conferees approve 4.1 percent pay raise

House and Senate conferees late Wednesday approved an $88.9 billion fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury appropriations bill including a 4.1 percent average pay raise for white-collar civilian federal employees.

The measure would provide civilian employees with the same pay raise that military service members will receive next year.

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley called the raise decision "an important step forward in the government's efforts to be competitive with the private sector as the employer of choice."

The Bush administration had proposed a 2 percent across-the-board pay raise for federal employees in 2004.

The Transportation-Treasury measure represents a $500 million increase over President Bush's request and a $4.9 billion boost over fiscal 2003 spending. It includes $1.2 billion for Amtrak, close to what railroad officials say is needed to keep trains running and maintenance on track, as well as $33.8 billion for highway spending, $14 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, and $7.3 billion for capital investments in mass transit.

Susan Davis of CongressDailyPM contributed to this report