GS Locality Pay Request
October 18, 2022
Orlando VA-Lake Nona
13800 Veterans Way
Orlando, FL 32827
Dear Representative Demings,
You, more than anyone, know the growth our City Beautiful has had recently. Over the past six years Orlando has added an average of 138 new residents per day. As the nation’s 5th, fastest growing metropolitan area and with a current population of over 2 million citizens, Orlando metro’s great growth warrants a shift in the way the Federal Government views the city’s identity.
The Orlando Veteran’s Health Administration in the novel “Medical City” of Lake Nona is a state-of-the-art medical complex and beacon of hope for the nearly half a million veterans that call Orlando home. Unfortunately, because of inadequate review of current criteria and perhaps poor advocacy on our behalf, the premier medical center for veteran healthcare in the south is facing a dilemma. As it stands currently, for the purposes of locality pay, Orlando is lumped in generically with the catch-all pay of nearly 3000 other pay localities. This, despite its rank as the 22nd largest metro area in the Nation according to the US Census Bureau. Because of this, the Orlando VHA is either forced to select from a limited pool of prospective employees or bring in contract workers which come with premiums of up to 50% more than regular employees, plus benefits.
Fortunately, we see an easy solution to the dilemma. We are requesting your support in advocating for Orlando’s inclusion in the General Schedule Locality pay of the MIAMI-FORT LAUDERDALE-PORT ST. LUCIE, FL GS Locality. This will change Orlando’s current 16% locality pay, shared by all other rural and less populated areas, to 22%; a 6% difference. A jump in locality pay will help the Orlando VA add to its current arsenal of specialized healthcare providers and give veterans the resources available and necessary to maximize access to world-renown healthcare.
Miami will not be so “south” with the completion of Bright-Line speed train to connect both Miami and Orlando in 2023. Including Orlando with the Miami Area locality group will not only amplify her identify with the neighboring metropolitan cities but will provide the largest healthcare system in the nation with greater resources to recruit skilled employees and medical staff.
We are so proud to have you serving.
Employees of the Orlando Veteran’s Health Administration and her Veterans.