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President calls for federal pay increase

President Obama last week called for a 1 percent pay increase in 2014 for federal civilian employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems.

President Obama last week called for a 1 percent pay increase in 2014 for federal civilian employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems.

Without the president's use of statutory authority to recommend an "alternate pay plan," a raise would have been calculated using a formula created by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, or FEPCA, which is based on the change in the Employment Cost Index minus 0.5 percent, which would have resulted in a higher increase.

"Civilian federal employees have already made significant sacrifices as a result of a three-year pay freeze," Obama wrote in a Aug 30 letter to the leaders of the House and Senate. "As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course. "

The raise, if not blocked by Congress, will go into effect Jan. 1, and end the current three-year pay freeze. The president also recommended that current locality pay percentages in 2014 will remain at 2013 levels.

The president also sent a similar letter to the lawmakers calling for a 2014 monthly basic pay increase of 1 percent for members of the uniformed services.

"To call this raise inadequate is an understatement, but it is good news all the same.” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement.

“Although the 1 percent is a pitiful amount that doesn’t begin to compensate for the furloughs and three years of frozen pay, it is a welcome development," Cox stated. "We are working with Congress and the administration to make sure this raise will be extended to federal blue collar workers as well."

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley, while she called the proposed amount "low," said she nonetheless was pleased with the move, calling it a "first step."

"The alternative pay plan put forward today in a message to Congress from the White House is a start on getting federal pay back on track," she said in a statement. "No other group in our nation has been asked to share as significantly in the effort to address our economic and fiscal circumstances."

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