Pay Raises Highlight Import of Quality of Life
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2000 Pay provisions in the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 emphasize the importance of quality of life to DoD, starting with an across-the-board 3.7 percent raise for service members beginning Jan. 1, 2001.
“The 3.7 percent is a great deal for service members in that it is a percent higher than it otherwise would be by law,” said Navy Capt. Elliott Bloxom, DoD director of military compensation. President Clinton signed the authorization bill into law Oct. 30.
The raise is set half a percentage point higher than the Employment Cost Index, a measure of private sector wage increases. The law previously sets military pay raises at a half percent below the index, but Congress voted to override that law.
“Last year Congress passed ECI plus a half for pay raises through fiscal 2006,” Bloxom said. This will help close the perceived “pay gap” between the military and civilian counterparts.
Another pay action affects NCOs in grades E-5 to E-7 with eight to 24 years of service. The targeted July raise will increase their pay $30 to $60, Bloxom said.
DoD favored postponing further weighted raises pending the findings of the ongoing Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation. The review panel is specifically looking at enlisted pay issues. “We feel the July raise is a move in the right direction, but thought it was premature to enact that pay raise prior to the completion of the study,” Bloxom said. “But Congress enacted it and it will go into effect July 1.”
The review panel will finish its work by the end of the year, Bloxom said. Based on the results of the study, future levels of pay could be subject to further action.