NTEU has long advocated that the President’s proposal of a 1.6% average pay increase for federal employees in 2017 was inadequate. We strongly supported legislation that would have provided federal employees with a 5.3% increase, but that was not voted on in either the House or Senate. When a final 2017 National Defense Authorization Act set the military raise at 2.1% at the end of November, NTEU contacted key Members of Congress to ask them to urge the President to change his original proposal to 2.1%, reflecting pay parity with the military.
Unfortunately, the President sent his alternative locality pay plan, calling for the 1.6% total raise, to Congress on November 30th, almost immediately after the final military raise was set. But, NTEU continued to work to make clear that under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, the President had time to make a change in his plan and provided information on why it was important to do so, based on fairness and on how much federal employees had contributed to deficit reduction through the lack of pay increases and other compensation reductions during President Obama’s two terms.
While we still believe that the 2.1% average increase that will become effective in January should be much bigger, we appreciate the efforts of those in Congress and the Administration for making this change and providing this slightly larger increase, which reflects pay parity for federal and military employees.
While Congress could still technically take action to reduce the 2017 pay increase, NTEU does not expect and will fight to prevent that.
I will share more information about exactly what the increases will be in the different localities and for different grades once it is available.