By Andrea Izzotti shutterstock id 147037244

1% pay raise for feds included in 2021 budget despite efforts for 3.5%

The White House is proposing a 1% raise for federal employees in the 2021 budget while also increasing retirement contribution requirements.

The budget proposal also offers to "[increase] funds available for on-the-spot and ratings-based performance awards."

The rationale for providing a lower pay raise this year, according to the budget proposal, was "to make pay more flexible and performance-based, since across-the-board pay increases have long-term fixed costs and fail to address existing pay disparities or to target mission-critical recruitment and retention goals."

Military personnel would receive a 3% base pay increase as well as added funding for programs aimed at financially supporting service members and their families.

The Trump administration's plans for a 1% raise run counter to Congressional and union hopes for as much as 3.5% for federal workers. In January, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) introduced a bill that would increase rates for federal workers and address discrepancies between salaried and hourly waged employees.

The American Federation of Government Employees National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley told reporters at a Feb. 10 press briefing that the union was working with allies in Congress to make a higher pay raise reality.

"Certainly, it's not unlike this administration to propose anywhere from zero to 100. We are praying and we are hoping that Congress will be successful working with our members to get a 3.5% pay raise," Kelley said.

In addition, the budget proposal suggested eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for federal retirees and slashing it by 0.5% for civil service retirees while increasing the amount federal workers are expected to pay into their retirement and disability funds as part of a bid to bring total compensation federal retirement systems "more in line with labor markets."

Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the 1% raise is "meaningless" if feds "are forced to simultaneously shave money off their paychecks for higher retirement contributions."

The budget proposal also resurrected the possibility of a merger between the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration despite a provision in last year's defense reauthorization bill that explicitly forbade any such consolidation without a vigorous independent cost-benefit analysis being performed first.

The workforce section of the budget also envisions the federal civilian workforce declining by about 30,000 in fiscal year 2021, from 2.2 million to about 2.17 million.

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 24, 2020

We were considered "essential to the mission" during COVID, but when it's time for a pay raise... not so much.

Fri, Jul 3, 2020

we need a 3.5

Fri, Feb 21, 2020

Well eliminate all the cost of livings, bonuses for the congress and senate along with the political appointees. Then cut the salaries of these individuals to 40% of their amount paid, reduce benefits and enforce term limits. This would be a savings. Maybe Schumer, Pelosi, McConnel, Cortez, Sanders, Warren, Paul and others would ten find out that they are all ineffectual bloats doing nothing of any relevance to the Civil Servants who do great work on a daily basis for the American Tax payers.

Mon, Feb 17, 2020

How about eliminate FERS altogether and go back to the common sense CRCS retirement program. Folks were quite happy with it. I do not think McConnel, Schumer or Pelosi would consider FERS as a mandatory program that they would need to enroll in if they had to start over again.

Mon, Feb 17, 2020

Well thank bot the Democrats and Republicans for stabbing the hard working federal employees in the back again. Carter, Clinton, Obama all went out of their ways to demonize the public sector workers. Regan, Bush Jr and the make America great again president and his minions have also demonized federal employees. The unions sat back and went along mostly with what the current administrations decided to do. Well the retirees get kicked in the face also so here is a suggestion that elected individuals should take seriously, no more career senators and congress representatives. One term only and dock their pay when a shutdown results by 50% each day the government is shut down. In turn if they go in the negative pay wise, they reimburse the US treasury.

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