As we near the end of the year, I wanted to update you on several pay issues for January 2018 and 2019. Earlier this year, President Trump issued an alternative pay plan for civilian federal employees, covered by the General Schedule, to provide an average 1.9 percent raise in 2018. Under current law, the base increase should be 1.9 percent with a locality pay increase on top of that amount. Unless Congress acts to provide a different-or-no-amount in the next few weeks, the total average pay raise for January 2018 would be a 1.4 percent across-the-board base increase and an average 0.5 percent hike in locality pay rates. Once pay tables, with exact locality pay rates by area, are released by the Office of Personnel Management, I will share these with you.
Overall, NTEU supports a higher pay raise for 2018, and worked on introduction of legislation earlier this year to provide a 3.2 percent increase instead, as outlined in the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates, or FAIR Act (HR 757 and S. 255). In recent weeks, NTEU has also called for the principle of pay parity to be applied to the civilian and military pay raises for January, now that Congress has acted on, and the President has signed a 2.4% pay raise for military personnel. I recently shared with you a bipartisan letter from a group of legislators advocating for the principle of pay parity to be honored. NTEU continues to press for employees to receive a fair pay raise in 2018, and to ensure that no action is taken to cancel a pay raise in the final weeks of the year as Congress and the White House negotiate over large federal spending issues.
Additionally, starting earlier this fall, and again more recently, there have been several media reports of “leaked” draft inter-agency Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget documents that purport to show that the administration plans to call for a pay freeze for federal employees for calendar year 2019. While the administration is likely not to officially reveal its pay plans for the federal workforce until the President’s formal FY 2019 budget request is released to Congress next year, NTEU is greatly concerned with such a proposal, particularly at a time of a healthy private-sector job market and overall economic growth. And, as you well know, federal employees have already been left trailing our private sector counterparts when it comes to pay based on the last round of pay freezes and several years of smaller-than-called-for pay increases.
I want to assure you that NTEU stands ready to fight for meaningful pay raises for the work that federal employees perform—for this coming year, and beyond.
To see what you can do, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.