Workforce

Congressional opposition to federal pay freeze mounts

Fiscal cliff (Photo by MrIncredible/Shutterstock) 

It's not a majority, but so far 182 House members are Nearly 200 lawmakers pushed back against President Donald Trump's plan to freeze pay for civilian employees.

Twenty-three members from both sides of the aisle urged Trump to reconsider his proposal to freeze federal pay in fiscal year 2019, which they say would be a "mistake."

"While we applaud your efforts to be fiscally responsible, these scheduled pay raises are overdue for our hardworking federal employees and provide incentives to recruit and retain a strong federal workforce," they wrote.

Congress has the authority to override Trump's proposal, and the Senate already cleared a 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian employees for next year by a 96 to 2 margin.

In a separate letter , 159 Democrats wrote to congressional leadership, urging them to reject the proposed pay freeze and enact the 1.9 percent figure approved by the Senate.

"The Trump administration must end these irrational and draconian cuts to the pay and benefits of federal employees and retirees, just as it must stop attacking the rights of employees to collectively bargain, resolve workplace disputes and challenge unfair treatment," they write, alluding to the trio of executive orders directed at curbing union activity, parts of which have been invalidated by a district court ruling.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees applauded the lawmakers calling for a pay raise.

"Federal employees have endured years of financial uncertainty and strain due to pay and hiring freezes, pension cuts, unpaid furloughs, and government shutdowns," he said. "They both need and deserve a raise, and I thank every lawmaker and every citizen who is calling for it."

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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