Obama wants smaller raises for fed employees

The president intends to trim their Jan. 1 pay increase from 2.4 to 2 percent

Citing the economic downturn and the skyrocketing federal budget, President Obama on Aug. 31 sent Congress a letter announcing his intention to trim the Jan. 1 pay raise scheduled for most federal employees from 2.4 percent to 2 percent. In his letter, Obama cited Title 5 of the U.S. Code, which he said authorizes him to implement an alternative pay plan if he judges the pay adjustments to be inappropriate due to “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare.”

Obama claimed that such an emergency as defined in that law has existed since 9/11.Obama also noted that “few would disagree that our country is facing serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” and that “growth in federal requirements is straining the federal budget.”

However, in the days since the announcement, several federal employees’ unions have strongly disagreed with the president’s call for reducing federal pay increases.

“Bringing federal pay and benefit practices more in line with the private sector would in fact require a hefty pay increase for federal workers,” said William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). “Federal workers do their part to keep the federal budget down every day when they accept substantially less compensation to do the same work as their counterparts in the private sector."

To see more, go to: www.nteu.org or www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Letter-from-the-President-to-the-Speaker-of-the-House-8/31/09/.

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Federal Daily, an 1105 Government Information Group site, features news and resources for federal and postal employees.

Reader comments

Mon, Oct 5, 2009 Indianapolis, IN

I too am in the private sector, as is my husband. His company CUT his wages by 2% this year and eliminated his COLA. I was a little more fortunate in that I did receive a small increase. Remember also that federal employees get step raises in addition to the January raise. I don't get that!

Thu, Sep 17, 2009 DOD

Restricting Federal employees pay raises may be the correct thing to do, but it should be in context with the big picture of what his job should be about. Obama would make sense if he also cut out all those czars, wasteful giveaway programs, handouts to his ACORN and other left wing buddies and groups, creating new organizations to increase his power. He won't because it is all about increasing the power of his political base - not helping this country.

Thu, Sep 17, 2009

The President should set an example on cutting waste by reducing the entourage that accompanies him on trips and for speeches. His recent trip to Wakefield High School for a speech was larger than some small countries.

Thu, Sep 17, 2009

Who are you to say whether or not I have or haven't earned a raise, Mr. President? Shouldn't that be between me and my manager?

Tue, Sep 8, 2009 P

I work for local government and our dept hasn’t seen any kind of COLA raise in 6 years, but our medical cost-sharing continues to rise. Plus, up here, gas costs over $3/gal. Welcome to the real world!

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