In the Midst of Shutdown, White House Formalizes Pay Freeze

Press Release December 28, 2018

Washington D.C. – Even as the federal government is partially shut down and employees are worried about stretching their household budgets to cover missed paychecks, the White House formalized a pay freeze for federal workforce.

“This is just pouring salt into the wound,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “It is shocking that federal employees are taking yet another financial hit. As if missed paychecks and working without pay were not enough, now they have been told that they don’t even deserve a modest pay increase.”

The pay freeze for federal employees was issued by executive order late Friday afternoon and is effective the first pay period of 2019.

NTEU strongly pushed for members of Congress to override the president’s pay freeze, first announced in his 2019 budget proposal. The Senate, in bipartisan fashion, did approve a 1.9 percent increase for federal workers. However, the House did not act.

As the shutdown extends into its second week, NTEU has been urging both the White House and Congress to open agencies and for Congress to legislate a pay raise for calendar year 2019 as it also provides back pay to those who are furloughed.

“Congress still has the ability to reject this administration decision. Federal employees are bearing the brunt of this shutdown and their financial concerns are increasing the longer this drags on. NTEU strongly believes they deserve an increase in their pay and will continue working to make that happen,” Reardon said.

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are impacted by the government shutdown including more than 100,000 NTEU members. They include Customs and Border Protection Officers who are working at the ports of entry keeping our country safe, Food and Drug Administration employees ready to respond to health emergencies and all those who are at home through no fault of their own.

The complete list of NTEU-represented agencies affected by the lapse in appropriations is: IRS, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Election Commission, National Park Service, Patent and Trademark Office, Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.