A 4 percent hike would start to make up for the three years of federal pay freezes and increased pension contributions-without increased future pension payouts-that Congress imposed on federal workers.
Union leaders welcomed Congress' end of the two-week partial federal shutdown and the decision to suspend the nation's debt limit, thus avoiding what would have been a first-ever default.
About 50 activists, many of them retirees, gathered outside the office of Senator Ted Cruz in Dallas on October 15.
About half a million federal employees remain locked out of their jobs due to the shutdown.
It's more than just jobs on the chopping block as air traffic control towers at 149 airports begin shutting down this month.