Workforce

White House announces expected federal pay bump

Shutterstock image. Image credit Dooder/Shutterstock.com 

To critics of the pace of federal wage increases, this bag of money is not representative of the raise offered feds for 2018.

The White House announced a pay raise coming in 2018 for the federal workforce.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the civilian workforce will receive a 1.4 percent across-the-board pay increase, with an additional 0.5 percent bump for locality pay, for a total 1.9 percent raise.

The pay plan also bumps pay of military employees by 2.1 percent. Both figures match what the White House laid out in its fiscal year 2018 budget request.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 employees across 31 agencies, said the plan "shortchanges" federal employees.

"NTEU believes this figure is too low, especially in light of the fact that federal law calls for a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise and private sector wages are growing at an even faster rate," said national president Tony Reardon in a statement. "Add to that, current proposals attacking the federal retirement system would result in a pay cut for federal workers."

The Trump administration has made no secret of its goals to shrink government and cut federal benefits.

The White House's budget proposal identified about $6.5 billion of savings in fiscal 2018 alone that could be achieved by slashing federal employees' retirement benefits. The Congressional Budget Office recently offered an accounting of projected savings from different plans to change the federal retirement system.

Federal pay has lagged since President Barack Obama instituted a three-year pay freeze in 2010 as part of a deficit reduction plan. For 2017, Obama called for a 2.1 percent pay raise for both the military and civilian workforces.

For the fourth consecutive year, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), whose district includes many federal employees, introduced legislation that would increase the federal workforce's pay by 3.2 percent. Connolly's bill and a companion bill in the Senate are almost exclusively sponsored by Democrats and have not moved in the Republican-controlled Congress.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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