Washington, D.C. – Federal employees around the country would receive a 1.9 percent pay raise in 2019 under legislation approved Tuesday by the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
“This is welcome news for the men and women of the civil service who secure our nation, safeguard our economy and protect the public health,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union. “At a time when private sector salaries are increasing, and military personnel are on track for an earned pay increase, we applaud Congress for recognizing that government employees also deserve a pay raise.”
NTEU has been urging Congress to reassert its control over federal pay by rejecting the president’s proposed pay freeze in 2019 and following the accepted formula for a modest but important adjustment in salaries.
“The middle-class workers of the federal government have the same financial pressures as everyone else, including rising costs of housing, food, utilities, child care and college tuition, and a pay raise next year will help them keep up with those monthly bills,” Reardon said.
Prior to 2011, Congress routinely set the federal pay increase in the annual appropriations bills. But recently Congress has remained silent and allowed the administration to dictate the size of the raise or whether to give one at all.
“Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) are to be commended for their bipartisan commitment to treating our nation’s civil servants with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Reardon said.
NTEU has endorsed legislation from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) to give federal workers a 3 percent pay adjustment next year, and will continue to press Congress to provide this higher amount for 2019. The legislation, the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, is H.R. 4775 and S. 2295.
“Keeping government salaries competitive is key to recruiting and retaining the most qualified employees, and we encourage Congress to approve a raise for civilian employees as a sign that their work is valued,” Reardon said.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 32 federal agencies and departments.