The Senate passed a package of appropriations for FY19 August 1 that included a 1.9 percent pay increase for federal employees, commensurate with the increase feds received in 2018.

The increase includes a 1.4 percent bump to basic pay, plus another .5 percent boost in locality pay.

The package passed near unanimously on a vote of 92 to 6.

According to National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard G. Thissen, the Senate bill marks an important step in preventing a federal pay freeze proposed by the Trump administration for 2019.

“Approval of a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees begins the process of countering the Administration’s proposed federal pay freeze in 2019. Without Congressional action, federal pay will be kept stagnant by the Trump administration, which has clearly stated its intention to freeze federal pay for calendar year 2019. To keep federal pay at a standstill while the economy and private-sector wages continue to grow is a direct show of contempt for our nation’s middle-class, career civil servants,” said Thissen.

“This pay raise is important to keep federal pay from falling even farther behind that of the private sector. Now, more than ever, competitive federal salaries are sorely needed to confront hiring needs as 40 percent of the current workforce is eligible to retire in the next three years.”

This bill would mark the sixth consecutive pay raise since federal employee compensation was frozen between 2010 and 2013.

The bill will now move into reconciliation with the House appropriations bill, where the two bodies will iron out differences between the two versions before it can be sent to the president for signature.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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