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No locality pay hike for 2012

Civilian federal workers will see no increase in locality pay next year, and there will be no new geographic pay areas, according to the report from the president's Pay Agent released on May 16.

Civilian federal workers will see no increase in locality pay next year, and there will be no new geographic pay areas, according to the report from the president’s Pay Agent released on May 16.

Citing the two-year federal pay freeze enacted in January, the Pay Agent (which consists of the Labor Department secretary and heads of the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management) rejected any change in locality pay.

“We do not believe it is appropriate to make substantive changes in the General Schedule locality pay system at this time given the anticipated migration to the use of a new survey methodology, the continuing economic emergency affecting the general welfare, and the recently enacted legislation freezing federal pay in 2011 and 2012,” the report said.

The Pay Agent also rejected a recommendation from the Federal Salary Council for six new metropolitan locality pay areas. The council is made up of federal salary experts and union leaders.

However, the report continued to urge changes in the way that most federal employees are compensated.

“There is a need to consider reforms of the white-collar federal pay system,” the report said. “We have serious concerns about a process that requires a single percentage adjustment in the pay of all white-collar civilian federal employees in each locality pay area without regard to the differing labor markets for major occupational groups.”

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