EO: Federal employees gain new $15 minimum wage
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jan 28, 2021
Federal employees long have heard that, generally, they are underpaid, according to some reports—that is, when compared with their private-sector counterparts.
But generally that’s so, many experts have found over the years, among those feds at the top end of their professions. Those feds at the entry level or who do yeoman work at the lower levels of the pay scale are doing just fine, thanks. This is the widespread impression.
Turns out, however, that many at the lower end of the pay scale—who provide important work for the federal government—earn less than they should, less than is necessary just to get by.
The new White House just took a big step to address this unfortunate situation. President Biden signed an Executive Order pressing agencies, through the authority of the Office of Personnel Management, to ensure that all feds earn at least $15 per hour.
“There are thousands of federal employees who work full-time yet earn less than $15 an hour,” said Everett Kelley, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, approving the measure. “The federal government must serve as an example for other employers to follow by providing its own employees with a living wage, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to make this a reality.”
Indeed, the lowest rung in the federal GS-scale still pays just under $20,000 per year. At $15 per hour, a fed would earn around $30,000 with a steady 40-hour workweek.
The Jan. 22 White House EO—which covered multiple moves to improve the lot of federal employees—directs agencies to find those who earn less than the new target—and directs authorities to take steps to ensure pay is raised to the new minimum.
“The Director of OPM shall provide a report to the President with recommendations to promote a $15/hour minimum wage for Federal employees,” the EO states.