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Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 8th District of Pennsylvania

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Bill Addresses Pay Disparity at Tobyhanna Army Depot

Dec 17, 2019
In The News

 

Hourly employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot would earn more under a bill introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, and Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, in the U.S. House and Senate.

Pay for hourly employees is based on 1950s military installation placements, while salaried workers are paid based on metropolitan markets — in this case, the New York City region, whose boundaries are based on commuting patterns. Hourly employees are considered part of the lower-earning Scranton wage area.

The hourly skilled trade workers perform “very complex” work, manufacturing and repairing electronic weapons systems, said Jacqueline Simon, policy director for the American Federation of Government Employees union.

“They do a lot, they have a lot of responsibility,” yet might make $20 per hour for labor that isn’t comparable to much private sector work, Simon said.

Ned George, who was then the vice president of AFGE Local 1647, echoed that in a statement at a January 2016 meeting of the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee: “Every day, we paint assets and material that keep us right here in this office safe. I put down infrared coatings on Humvees.”

The disparity affects workplace culture, he continued, saying that “a lot of our workers, they almost feel like they’re fighting against each other, and it’s because of the pay inequity that’s going on at that point.”

And it creates a retention issue, as hourly workers either try to get white-collar salaried jobs at Tobyhanna or leave entirely, George said.

At that meeting, the committee voted to move Monroe County to the New York City wage area, but the change didn’t get the necessary approval from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

At a June 2019 FPRAC meeting, George explained how New York and New Jersey affect the cost of living near Tobyhanna.

And it creates a retention issue, as hourly workers either try to get white-collar salaried jobs at Tobyhanna or leave entirely, George said.

At that meeting, the committee voted to move Monroe County to the New York City wage area, but the change didn’t get the necessary approval from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

At a June 2019 FPRAC meeting, George explained how New York and New Jersey affect the cost of living near Tobyhanna.

And it creates a retention issue, as hourly workers either try to get white-collar salaried jobs at Tobyhanna or leave entirely, George said.

At that meeting, the committee voted to move Monroe County to the New York City wage area, but the change didn’t get the necessary approval from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

At a June 2019 FPRAC meeting, George explained how New York and New Jersey affect the cost of living near Tobyhanna.

And it creates a retention issue, as hourly workers either try to get white-collar salaried jobs at Tobyhanna or leave entirely, George said.

At that meeting, the committee voted to move Monroe County to the New York City wage area, but the change didn’t get the necessary approval from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

At a June 2019 FPRAC meeting, George explained how New York and New Jersey affect the cost of living near Tobyhanna.