Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Concerned about the Hawaii COLA decrease?

I got this in the work email...worth a read if you're not a fan of the COLA decrease.  Since there isn't much your chain of command can do about COLA, you're not jumping them by writing to Congressman Gabbard. BUT, if you are worried, please also see your Command Financial Specialist and get a budget made so that you aren't getting into financial trouble when the decrease happens.

On May 13, USPACOM's Quality of Life department determined that Oahu is experiencing an "economic decline" and subsequently decided to decrease US Service-members' Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) by 8 points.  This translates to a 24% pay cut or $4K-$5K annual reduction for officers and a $3K-$4K annual reduction for enlisted personnel.  The COLA reduction begins on the July 1 pay period.
The office of Congressman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is currently welcoming public correspondence on the matter.  Congressman Gabbard has been a United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district since 2013 and currently serves on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services.

If you are interested in submitting correspondence on this matter, Congressman Gabbard's Director of Military Affairs is Christine Wagner at christine.wagner@mail.house.gov or 202-225-4906 and can be reached directly.

Per Christine Wagner's office, please include the following information in your correspondence:

Full Name
Email address
Phone number
Physical address so Christine can prove that this is not coming from just one person.

Entitle your e-mail "COLA Decrease on Oahu: Action Requested"
- Specify that you are concerned about the recent PACOM decision to reduce COLA by 24% in Honolulu County.
- Provide cost numbers that indicate regularly purchased items (rent, groceries, gas, etc.) that are more expensive now than when you moved to Hawaii.