Administration’s 2018 Pay Plan Shortchanges Federal Workers

Press Release August 31, 2017

Washington, D.C.— The administration’s alternative pay plan for federal employees for 2018, which calls for a 1.4 percent across-the-board increase with an additional 0.5 percent average adjustment for locality pay, shortchanges federal workers.

“NTEU believes this figure is too low especially in light of the fact that federal law calls for a 1.9 percent across-the-board raise and private sector wages are growing at an even faster rate,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). “Add to that, current proposals attacking the federal retirement system would result in a pay cut for federal workers.”

Under the formula prescribed in the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, the federal pay raise should be the Employment Cost Index (ECI) figure minus a half percent. However, the administration’s alternative pay plan is offering ECI minus one percent for the across-the-board portion of the raise.

NTEU supports pending legislation in the House and Senate to provide employees with a 3.2 percent increase in 2018. NTEU will work in Congress to secure a higher pay raise.

Federal employees have faced years of frozen and stagnant wages which continue to widen the gap between the public and private sector workforces. Private sector employees are expected to see an average 3.0 base pay increase to their salaries.

This proposal also comes as federal employees face uncertainty about whether the government will be funded when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. If there is a shutdown, federal employees sent home have no guarantee that they will be paid for the length of the shutdown, while others would be forced to work while waiting to be paid.

In addition, proposed changes to the federal retirement system could cost employees far more for the same or even less benefit.

“Federal employees work hard and care deeply about their jobs. In times like these when our country is dealing with a massive natural disaster, the public counts on federal employees for response and recovery efforts,” President Reardon said. “They are not the swamp; they are our nation’s frontline protectors.”

NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.