House approves two-year federal pay freeze

Feds move one step closer to salary stasis

The House today approved the Obama administration’s two-year pay freeze proposal for all civilian federal employees as part of a fiscal 2011 appropriations bill. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Earlier in the week, a group of Washington-area House lawmakers urged their colleagues to reject the proposal and instead review federal pay annually.

The freeze is part of an appropriations bill, H.R. 3082, that passed by 212-206. That provision said no statutory pay adjustment will take effect for federal employees from Jan. 2011 until Dec. 2012, “absent a change of position that results in a substantial increase in responsibility, or a promotion.” The legislation also stated the president may issue guidance to federal agencies on how to implement the freeze.


Related stories:

Some lawmakers seek to dilute pay freeze proposal

Could pay freeze send feds to private sector?


Federal labor organizations. who have opposed the pay freeze proposal and others like it, criticized the House's action.

“By imposing a two-year freeze on federal employees, it is clear members of Congress are bowing to political pressure stemming from the spread of misinformation relating to both the composition of the federal workforce and the impact instituting a freeze will have on deficit reduction efforts,” Federal Managers Association National President Patricia Niehaus said. “FMA supports the contention voiced by several lawmakers that evaluation of annual pay adjustments should take place on a yearly basis.”

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said, “This really puts federal employees between a rock and a hard place. Agencies can’t operate at all without a budget, but the spending cuts in this bill will make it even harder for employees to get their jobs done.” 


 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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