Today, the President sent Congressional leaders a formal letter transmitting an alternative locality pay plan for calendar year 2017 for federal workers in the General Schedule. Under current law, absent congressional action to establish a specific amount for locality pay, the President has the authority to designate an amount for locality pay rates. This so-called alternative plan for locality pay is required to be transmitted by the President to Congress by December 1 of the proceeding calendar year. The President’s transmittal notifies Congress that 0.6% will be provided for overall locality pay rate purposes for calendar 2017. Under similar pay authority, the President issued an alternative pay plan in August setting a 1% General Schedule across-the-board pay raise for 2017. The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget proposal to Congress recommended a total pay raise of 1.6% for 2017—with 1% designated for the across-the-board raise and the remaining 0.6% for locality pay purposes.
At this time, Congress has not finished its work on the various FY 17 appropriations bills needed to fund federal agencies for the remainder of the current FY, with agencies currently operating under a Continuing Resolution set to expire on December 9th. It is still possible that Congress could act between now and the end of the year to set differing pay amounts—for both the across-the-board raise and for locality pay—including even blocking a pay raise entirely. However, if Congress continues to stay silent on a pay raise as expected, the President’s August Alternative Pay Plan for the across-the-board raise (1%) and this Alternative Locality Pay Plan (0.6%) would become law.
It is important to note that the 0.6% locality pay figure is essentially an overall number, meaning some areas would receive locality pay increases below this figure, while others would receive locality pay rate increases slightly above this figure. The expected 2017 cumulative pay raise percentages (across-the-board plus locality pay) by specific area within our Chapter are:
- Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM 1.47%
- Austin-Round Rock, TX 1.70%
- Colorado Springs, CO 1.71%
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK 1.71%
- Denver-Aurora, CO 1.76%
- Houston-The Woodlands, TX 1.79%
- Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS 1.52%
- Laredo, TX 2.00%
- St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL 1.64%
- Rest of U.S. 1.34%
The specific pay tables for each designated locality pay area and RUS will be released later in December by the Office of Personnel Management, and will be shared with you when released.
I will keep you updated on any further actions this year that affect your pay.