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FLEOA Asks Speaker Pelosi to Increase PayCap

FLEOA Asks Speaker Pelosi to Increase PayCap for Federal Law Enforcement

 

August 20, 2021


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Madam Speaker,

I want to thank you for your recent decision to raise the pay cap for congressional staff members. On behalf of the more than 30,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, we request your support for an equally important effort to raise the pay cap for the brave men and women who work hard each day to preserve the safety of our communities, defend American citizens at home and abroad, and provide protection to our elected officials.

As you correctly noted in a Dear Colleague letter last week, increasing the pay cap for staff will help Congress recruit and retain an "outstanding and diverse" workforce, which is a critical component for any organization. In so doing, your action has directed a much needed spotlight on the archaic system within the federal government of "capping" pay. It is a system that no longer reflects the needs of the federal law enforcement workforce, particularly when the pay cap frequently prevents officers from being compensated for the excessive overtime hours they work to keep us safe. This creates a situation similar to the one faced by the U.S. Capitol Police in the aftermath of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. However, the federal law enforcement pay cap has severely limited overtime compensation not just in 2021, but also for decades. More importantly, the existing pay cap hampers recruitment and retention efforts at a time when violent crime is reaching record levels in cities across the country.

With the exception of employees in Senior Executive Service (SES) positions, the rest of federal law enforcement employees' pay is tied to a law passed by Congress that does not allow the combination of base salary, overtime, and premium pay to exceed the level of an employee serving in a position classified as a GS-15, Step 10 or an SES Level IV. What is worse for most federal law enforcement officers is that the existing pay cap restricts all compensation an employee can earn. Often an officer works for a salary that is set at a certain level on paper, but cannot actually be paid to the employee as a result of the pay cap. At the end of every pay period, these employees see an "over-earned” amount on the bottom of their paystub, showing how much money they "earned” but could not be compensated for. The practical impacts of the pay cap extend beyond just a loss of pay. For our members, whose pensions are based on an average of their highest three years of pay, their pension can only be based on compensation the individual receives each year that is under the pay cap.

That is why we respectfully request your support for congressional action to increase the pay cap for all federal law enforcement officers. This will enable agencies across the government to recruit and retain the best possible workforces and ensure that the services provided by federal law enforcement officers are appropriately reflected in the compensation received.

FLEOA looks forward to working with you on this important matter and is available to provide any additional assistance. Feel free to contact us at fleoa@fleoa.org.

Sincerely,

Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

CC: Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Chair, House Committee on Oversight and Reform
Hon. James Comer, Ranking Member, House Committee on Oversight and Reform