On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted 30-21 to approve a spending measure that includes an average 3.1% pay increase for civilian federal employees in 2020.
In March, President Trump proposed a pay freeze for next year in the White House’s fiscal 2020 budget. Without Congress passing a pay raise, the president can determine annual adjustments to federal pay rates.
The 2020 federal pay raise in the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill includes a 2.6% across-the-board pay increase for civilian employees plus a 0.5% average increase in locality pay next year. The 3.1 percent average increase is based on the most recent annual change in private-sector pay prior to the development of the president’s budget request, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index.
“Though modest, this pay increase is a step in the right direction to retain and recruit a highly qualified and top-performing workforce,” said NARFE National President Ken Thomas. “The 3.1 percent raise is in line with increases in the private-sector, and given our country’s strong economic growth, this raise shows our two million federal employees we value their contributions.”
“NARFE also appreciates the subcommittee’s action to prevent the White House from politicizing the federal workforce by dismantling OPM and moving civil service policy to the Executive Office of the President,” Thomas said. “The administration has failed to make a compelling case for moving most of OPM to GSA, and we thank the subcommittee for recognizing this thinly veiled attempt to weaken merit system principles. NARFE urges both chambers of Congress to preserve the pay raise and maintain OPM and GSA as separate entities in their final legislation.”
The legislation provides annual funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Judiciary, the Executive Office of the President, and other independent agencies, including the Small Business Administration.
In total, the bill includes $24.55 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $1.4 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $355.5 million over the President’s 2020 budget request.
A summary of the bill is found here.