Federal employees could receive a 2019 pay raise of 1.9 percent under legislation approved Tuesday by the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
This development comes after the White House’s 2019 budget proposal in March asked Congress to approve a 2019 federal pay freeze for all civilian employees. It does fall short of recommendations from some members of Congress who signed a bill earlier this year that would provide a 3 percent pay raise across-the-board for federal employees.
Federal employee groups support possible 2019 federal pay raise
“This is welcome news for the men and women of the civil service who secure our nation, safeguard our economy and protect the public health,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union. “At a time when private sector salaries are increasing, and military personnel are on track for an earned pay increase, we applaud Congress for recognizing that government employees also deserve a pay raise.”
NTEU has been urging Congress to reassert its control over federal pay by rejecting the president’s proposed pay freeze in 2019 and following the accepted formula for a modest but important adjustment in salaries.
“This modest, yet much-deserved raise for America’s hardworking, middle-class federal employees is welcome, said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) said Tuesday. “Federal employees endured a three-year pay freeze from 2011-2013, setting back the federal community for years and furthering the gap between public- and private-sector pay. Since the pay freeze ended in 2014, federal employees experienced low pay raises, increased retirement contributions without any added benefit and continued attacks on their earned pay and benefits. This reasonable raise is an investment that will maintain and strengthen the federal workforce, making the federal government more competitive with the private sector.”
“This is a tremendous show of support for the 2 million dedicated and committed federal workers who care for our veterans, support our military, protect our environment, and help working families make ends meet,” American Federation of Government Employees National (AFGE) President J. David Cox Sr. said Tuesday.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the appropriations bill Thursday morning, however, this is not the end to the lengthy process of determining a 2019 pay raise for federal employees. Congress can still provide alternatives to the Trump administration’s proposed pay freeze during the appropriations process.