Proposals for a New Foreign Service Compensation System in the 110th Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Proponents of revisions in the Foreign Service compensation system point out that as increasing numbers of Foreign Service personnel are going to posts of increased hardship and danger, Foreign Service personnel serving abroad receive 20.89 less than their colleagues who are posted in Washington, D.C. due to the loss of locality pay when serving abroad. These proponents of revision maintain that this difference negatively impacts morale and assignment considerations, and eventually retention also. Both the 109th and 110th Congresses have considered proposals to eliminate this pay difference. The American Foreign Service Association AFSA has been working for several years with congressional supporters to change the compensation system. Since FY2007, the George W. Bush Administration has requested funds to create a new performance-based compensation system for the Foreign Service and eliminate the pay differential. For FY2009, the Administration requested 34.7 million for the first stage of a transition to pay equity. The Senate Appropriations Committee provided sufficient funding to meet the Administrations request in its appropriations bill, S. 3288, reported on July 18, 2008. The Foreign Service Overseas Pay Equity Act of 2008, H.R. 3202, as amended, would eliminate the pay differences over three years. This bill was referred to both the House Committee on Foreign Affairs HCFA and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform HOGR. HCFA reported the bill on July 16, 2008. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate, S. 3426, on August 1, 2008, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations SFRC. The SFRC reported the bill, without amendments, on September 23, 2008.
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