AFGE National President J. David Cox says a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees would not be enough. (Gannett Government Media Co.)
President Obama is preparing to propose a 1 percent pay-scale raise for federal employees in 2014, the Washington Post reported Friday.
But the American Federation of Government Employees said that a 1 percent raise “is simply not enough” after more than two years of frozen pay scales.
“It is not enough to allow workers, most of whom earn very modest salaries ranging from $24,000 to $70,000, to maintain living standards,” AFGE National President J. David Cox said. “And it is not enough to send a message with any kind of clarity that the administration values the federal workforce and doesn’t believe it should continue to bear an enormously disproportionate share of deficit reduction.”
Colleen Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, also said a 1 percent raise would be inadequate.
“When compared with wage growth in the private sector, federal workers and members of the military will fall further behind, making it more difficult for the government to attract and retain qualified personnel,” Kelley said.
William Dougan, national president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said the pay raise “would be a critical lifeline for federal employees across the nation who are struggling in this economy just like everyone else.”
“After all that federal workers have sacrificed the past three years, they have earned a raise,” Dougan said.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland applauded the White House for proposing the same pay raise for military personnel and civilian employees, a principle known as pay parity. But he also said that Congress should look closely at the proposed 1 percent increase to see if it is adequate.
“This is a crucial first step to restore fairness to the federal pay system for everyone who serves the American people,” Hoyer said.
Obama issued a two-year pay freeze beginning in 2011 that was supposed to expire in January. But Obama and Congress agreed last year to extend the pay freeze through the end of March. Obama wants federal employees to receive a 0.5 percent pay raise, but several leading Republican lawmakers are pushing to extend the pay freeze further — possibly as far as through 2015.