04.10.20

Kilmer Goes to Bat for Pay and Protection for Shipyard Workers

Members Representing Navy’s Public Shipyards Call for Incentive Pay, Additional Personal Protective Equipment for Federal Civilian Workers

Bremerton, WA – Today, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) led a group of lawmakers calling on the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to expand support for the tens of thousands of federal civilian workers who are serving at the Navy’s four public shipyards during the coronavirus pandemic. The lawmakers, who represent the shipyards, called for the federal government to support incentive pay for these essential workers who report for duty during the public health emergency, as well as additional Personal Protective Equipment to protect workers.

“As the four public shipyards are located in our congressional districts, we are proud to represent these steadfast and dedicated shipyard workers. The health of the workers and of their families is critical to the ability for them to meet the needs of the mission to continue. They know that our Navy and nation’s sailors count on them to ensure the readiness of the fleet to respond to national security threats,” the lawmakers wrote. “Because they have continued to report for duty during this public health emergency, we ask the Navy to authorize incentive pay for these essential workers.”

They continued, “We further ask that every effort be made to provide Personal Protective Equipment as soon as possible to those workers at greatest exposure.”

The letter was signed by Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Chris Pappas (NH-01), and Ed Case (HI-01).

The full text of the letter can be found HERE and below.

 

April 10, 2020

 

The Honorable James T Geurts

Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Department of Defense          

1000 Defense Pentagon         

Washington, DC 20301-1000

 

Dear Secretary Geurts,

At a time when our nation faces an unprecedented public health crisis and the majority of governors have enacted stay at home orders in their states, thousands of federal civilian workers have continued to report for duty each day at the Navy’s four public shipyards. These workers perform a critical service to our country and help maintain the aircraft carriers, submarines, and other warships that ensure our national security and protect the American people.

As the four public shipyards are located in our congressional districts, we are proud to represent these steadfast and dedicated shipyard workers. The health of the workers and of their families is critical to the ability for them to meet the needs of the mission to continue. They know that our Navy and nation’s sailors count on them to ensure the readiness of the fleet to respond to national security threats.

Because they have continued to report for duty during this public health emergency, we ask the Navy to authorize incentive pay for these essential workers. Such incentive pay would conform to guidance already promulgated by the Office of Personnel Management to federal agencies and departments that allows for retention incentives of up to a certain percentage of basic pay to a group or category of employees. We ask that the authorization cover the duration of this crisis.  We further ask that every effort be made to provide Personal Protective Equipment as soon as possible to those workers at greatest exposure.

There is no doubt that our federal workers are some of this country’s greatest assets. The Navy cannot fulfil its mission without these workers. With that in mind, we believe that authorizing incentive pay is one much needed step to show them that the federal government and Navy have their backs when they most deserve and need that support.

Sincerely,

 

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