In early 2022, the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, held its annual Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. At the Conference, the Department created the Federal Employees Wage Grade Taskforce to address inadequacies in the federal wage scale and launched its “Equal Dollars for Blue Collars” campaign. Today, the Taskforce is proud to announce that their hard work has led to the first major victory for NAVSEA- and NAVFAC-covered employees in the Norfolk Region, increasing covered employees’ salaries to align with area salaries.

The new pay increases are effective beginning July 16, 2023, and should begin to appear on paychecks in the coming weeks. Pay increases range from $0.74 per hour to $10.71 per hour, depending on step and grade.

The Equal Dollars for Blue Collars campaign was the Taskforce’s way to unite all federal wage-grade employees and bring awareness and fairness to the wage survey process that had been maligned and abused and did not work for federal wage-grade employees as the statute intended. Up until now, the process did little to maintain wage parity between public and private sector employees; however, today’s victory goes a long way towards changing the precedent.

“This is a huge win for the Tidewater Federal Employees Metal Trades Council (TFEMTC) members that work at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and all the NAVSEA and NAVFAC members covered under the agreement in our Norfolk region,” said Margaretta Rodgers, taskforce member, and TFEMTC Conference Committee chairperson.

“I am so proud of the hard work and tenacity of the members of this nationwide taskforce,” said Jimmy Hart, Metal Trades Department president. “When we created this taskforce in 2022, we swore that we would fight for the family-sustaining wages that these devoted men and women deserve, and this is just the first of what I predict is many wins for the taskforce.”

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The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing, and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.