Senators Call on President to Reverse Pay Freeze

Press Release December 31, 2018

Washington D.C. – In a letter today to President Trump, a group of U.S. Senators called on him to reverse course on a federal employee pay freeze for 2019.

“I welcome this strong show of support for a pay increase for federal employees,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “The actions of the White House in putting a freeze in place while employees are struggling to figure out how to stretch their budgets is insulting.”

NTEU has strongly supported a pay raise for federal employees in 2019. Frontline federal employees have suffered through years of no pay raises or below-market increases that puts them further behind private-sector wages even as basic costs for food, housing and health care continue to rise.

The Senators, in the letter, reminded the president that they and their colleagues overwhelmingly voted to provide a 1.9 percent raise for federal employees.

“This action recognized the many contributions of federal workers and rebuked your unsubstantiated proposal to further hinder their economic security and our collective ability to compete with the private sector. There should be a particular sense of urgency in bolstering, rather than undermining, the competitiveness of the federal workforce considering that the share of federal employees eligible for retirement is expected to rise to 30 percent in five years,” the Senators wrote.

They vowed to continue working on a bipartisan basis to ensure a pay increase for federal workers in 2019, should the president choose not to rescind the pay freeze.

“NTEU thanks Sens. Warner, Van Hollen, Hirono, Kaine, Cardin and Brown for this letter. We are committed to working in the Senate and the House for a fair pay raise for the dedicated frontline federal employees who choose to work for this country but did not choose to suffer through another government shutdown and have their financial stability begin to crumble,” Reardon said.

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